Christmas gifts for writers
Now, we writers think we are easy to buy for. Easy. A bit of stationery and we’re happy! The people who love us may beg to differ though, so I asked lots of writers what they actually want to make life easier.
Here are the best suggestions…
Please, for the love of sweet baby gingerbread men, help us actually sit down and write!
The number one most-requested item was time and space.
It’s the thing we find hardest of all, to clear aside time that we are ALLOWED use just for ourselves, just for writing, without distractions or the to-do list getting in the way.
We need permission to write, and support to help us do it.
A one-day writing retreat
Yes, it’s blatant plug time.
If your writer lives near London, give them a writers retreat, a day where they don’t have to think about anything else, where there’s nothing else to do but write.
Having a full day to really think about a project and dig into it might be just what they need to revitalise their writing.
Help them get their writing mojo back
Sometimes, although we claim we’re too busy to write, it isn’t really about that. It’s easy to lose confidence, to decide that your writing is rubbish or to just get scared. Fear is a major reason for people not writing, and it can be hard to overcome by yourself.
If you (or the writer in your life) aren’t writing at the moment and are feeling a bit frustrated about the whole thing, if the notebook is abandoned and sad-looking and the ideas have vanished, I have just the thing for you.
The Writer’s Block Detox is a 4-week online adventure starting 5th January with daily writing prompts, cheerleading and exercises to get any stalled writer fired-up and working again.
It’s on Earlybird price of £97 until Christmas Eve – after that it goes up to £147.
Well of course, stationery. Do check though, because a lot of writers are oddly specific about what they use (one specified “moleskine notebooks: squared or dots, plain in a pinch, but never lined”).
A fountain pen is a great present, but if you’re looking for a stocking filler then try these Uni Pin drawing pens in 0.6 or 0.8mm – I find the way they flow across paper and the line so much more satisfying than a biro (to the point where my partner has to mark his to stop me stealing them). £5.99 for 3.
I know lots of writers who swear by the Mslexia writer’s diary. They do sell out quickly, but you can pick any diary that will brighten your day (Paperchase is good) and pop a submissions section in the back to turn it into a writing diary.
For those of a more planner-oriented nature, or who like their diaries a little bossy, I’m obsessed with the Best Self Planner.
Coffee, chocolate, books… who wouldn’t want these to arrive on their doorstep every month?
Sometimes you just want to give someone something that will make them smile. My suggestions are:
Sitting for long periods makes you cold. Writers need snuggly things. Cardigans, hot water bottles, blankets and slippers were all on the request list.
My choice is these RNLI socks from Finisterre. Let’s face it, most of us don’t spend £20 on socks, but they are lush and you’ll be supporting the RNLI
A proper workstation
Let’s face it, most of us are reluctant to spend a lot on things just for us, for our writing. It feels selfish. But a proper desk setup can make writing a pleasure, make it easier to get started, make it less likely that postural problems will develop.
And if all else fails
Get a token for a massage parlour. Even one of those places that does 15 minute chair massages can really get the knots out and make us feel shiny and new.
Look after your writer, and they will look after you (or, you know, at least they won’t write bad stuff about you in their books).