By now, the non-writing world has been sufficiently informed that no matter how well-intended, a notebook is rarely what a writer wants as a gift. Notebooks must be carefully vetted by the individual (touched, flipped through, sniffed, measured), be ready for immediate use, and shelved after use of the first two pages.
Here are a few alternatives for those who love (or just deal with) the writers in their lives.
If you need help deciding on your hero’s course of action, stick post-it notes on a dart board and let your poor aim decide. It’s a good way to keep your story surprising (even you’ll be taken for a spin by the plot twist). Groups of writers looking for fresh party games can also use this as a fresh take on the round robin. Should you choose this as a gift for a writer, be sure to explain its purpose. Providing a stack of post-it notes with their characters’ names, various scenarios, etc. is a bonus.
Writers are distracted folk. We forget things like due dates, but the due dates don’t forget us. If you’re close with a writer who fears setting foot in a library because of the $30 fee they haven’t paid, give them their library card back. Make it a coffee date if you like – because coffee makes everything better – but walking in and pulling out your wallet so your writer can read and research at their leisure is a tremendous gift.
Take this idea as literally or as figuratively as you please. Give a gift that offers strangers a fair warning. Does the writer in question kill off friends and loved ones in their fiction? There are t-shirts to warn potential friends and loved ones what they’re getting into. There are tin signs for the sarcastic ones and the procrastinators. If you feel particularly ambitious, you can look for something akin to a road sign so folks enter the writer’s lair prepared.
Delivery Gift Cards
More functional than funny, gift cards for restaurant and grocery delivery can save busy writers a lot of time. When your pet writer is dragging their feet on the next (or first) draft of that novel you’re eager to read, a teasing note always pairs well with a practical gift that frees up time. Besides, it’s always fun when someone else handles the cooking.
Fun, funny, and possibly offensive to the writer receiving the gift, memorials for dead characters will always be remembered. If the writer celebrates Christmas and puts up a tree, try ornaments with the names and causes of death of each character the writer has murdered. You can be a little less dark and celebrate characters living or dead with an extra stocking at the holiday party. Label it with a character’s name and fill it with little things both the writer and character would like. This could include tea, chocolate, arrows, or a half-eaten burger. Whatever fits.
What is the best gift you received or given as or to a writer? What was the worst? Have ideas to add? Share them below!