If you’re reading this, chances are you are either a writer being hounded to provide a holiday wish list, or you have a writer in your life and you are grasping for gift ideas.
For someone newly embarking upon a writer’s life, may I suggest notebooks, pens, or books on writing? Writers are constantly figuring out what works and doesn’t, and the newer we are, the more we focus on it. These are all excellent tools to help with that. And to show acceptance and support of a loved one wanting to do something as masochistic as be a writer.
I used to love getting these as presents. But I’ve had more than twenty years of them.
I am entirely too picky. Notebooks can’t be too small or too large, the paper needs to feel good to the touch and not bleed. I can’t tell you how many unused notebooks I’ve gotten rid of over the years. And maybe your writer doesn’t much use them.
Pens? I’m equally picky. Books on writing? There are so many and not a lot of them terribly helpful. Just grabbing one off the shelf is not usually the best approach.
My recommendations: Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas, and anything by Natalie Goldberg. Those are the ones off the top of my head.
I still need to get my hands on a copy of Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook.
But the absolute best gift you can give a writer is experience.
Give your writer an art lesson or martial arts class. Take them horseback riding. Go on a trip. The list goes on.
And you don’t have to spend a lot of money, either. Take your writer to the beach. Go for a walk. Doing something special and out of the ordinary can also be something incredibly simple.
Experiences feed and fuel writing more than anything else. So if you’re desperate for a gift and exhausted all the usual options, give an experience.