Gifting Writers

If you have a writer on your holiday gift list and haven’t a clue what to give him or her, let me help you out.

We love books, even ones besides our own. The path to being a good writer begins with being a good reader. Writers read books within their own genre, but if you’re like me, your tastes are eclectic–I’ll read almost anything, even if all I take away from a book is, “I don’t want to write like that.”

We love journals because when we’re without a computer, we need something besides a cocktail napkin to capture an inspiration. Smart phones with their built-in recorders go a long way, but there’s nothing better than a sweet little notebook you can carry in a pocket or your purse.

We love pens, too, and not just to write in those journals (or cocktail napkins). We’re always looking for just the right pen to use for book signings so we can make a statement. I’m partial to fountain pens myself (with cartridges, not ink bottles; I’m far too much of a klutz for them).

We love reviews of our work. Good ones, of course, and even bad ones–IF they’re constructive. The new trend in giving books you’ve never read a bad review hits a writer where it hurts. We’re all pretty sensitive creatures anyway, and we know better than anyone words do hurt. So, if you can’t give the gift of constructive criticism, cross me off your list.

We love it when our friends and family give us space to write, when they put aside their demands on our time and don’t make us feel guilty about taking the time we need to write. I recently told someone the sexiest thing my ex ever said to me was, “I know your writing is important to you, so I’ll just go row around the lake for a couple of hours.” That was a gift whose significance missed me at the time. Now, when I have different interests conflicting for my time, I wish others were as understanding that sometimes I need to retreat to my room, wherever that is, and write.

We love it as well when family and friends, even perfect strangers, give us fodder for our fiction. Some people don’t understand why writers live for the family get-togethers others dread. Easy. We know we’ll come away with a half-dozen new ideas for stories and/or snippets of killer dialogue. So, thanks. Really.

There you have it. Some great suggestions for the writer in your life. Oh, wait. I missed one. A great gift for a writer is to just say to them, “I’m proud of what you do.”

2 thoughts on “Gifting Writers

  1. A great post, Maggie. I told my wife just the other day that one of my favorite gifts I got years ago was a pen. Nothing flashy or fancy, just a simple pen that flowed and never stuck. It’s also one of the few times I’ve ever used up all the ink. Funny are the things that can be sentimental to us. But still, it was a great pen.

    Cheers.

  2. Ha! My husband was at a loss as to what to get for me this year. I told him pens. And paper. That’s all I really want. Now next year, if I’ve finished my novel (fingers crossed) I’ll want a book trailer. 😉

I live for your constructive comments.

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