In preparation for Christmas–or whatever holiday you’re celebrating this season–I’ve been providing gift ideas for language lovers here on Amaze-ing Words Wednesday. Thus far, we’ve had:
And now we conclude with gifts for the Writer on your list. (Click on any image below to find a link where you can purchase.)
Writing Craft Books. Writers can’t rest on the knowledge they have at this moment. We need to keep learning and growing. Writing craft books are a great resource for personal and professional growth. Jody Hedlund has compiled an extensive list of books for writers you can consult. I’d currently recommend Wired for Story by Lisa Cron and The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell. Both would make good gift books as they are manageable reads with substance.
Scrivener. Scrivener is word processing software designed especially for writers and produced by Literature & Latte. Scrivener makes it easy to plot, research, structure, write, and compile your novel all in one place. It’s available for both Windows and Mac Users, at $40 and $45 respectively. While you’re at it, check out Gwen Hernandez’s Scrivener for Dummies book or purchase an online Scrivener four week-class ($40) to make sure the Writer knows how to use all of those fabulous features.
Coffee shop and restaurant gift cards. Quite a few novels have been completed in cafés with the assistance of copious amounts of caffeine. Thus, a Starbucks gift card is typically a welcome gift, or find out which coffee shop the Writer in your life enjoys. (While I love Starbucks, the best place to drink, snack, and work in my neighborhood is Dunn Bros.) I also have go-to restaurants with WiFi connections where I’ve gotten some writing done, like Café Express and Panera Bread.
Laptop pad. If the Writer has a laptop, odds are that they could use a laptop pad. The best ones have some cushion and a cooling element to keep the computer from heating up your thighs. This is the one I own from Belkin, and I’d give it a thumbs-up. You can find them at your local office supply store (e.g., Office Depot, Staples) or electronics store (e.g., Best Buy, Fry’s).
Desk cup holder. I used to scrapbook, and one of the items that I continue to use to this day is my Creative Memories Sidekick drink holder. It is awesome to have my drink so handy while writing, but not where it could potentially spill onto the keyboard. Creative Memories does not have this holder on their website, so here are a couple of other options with the Scrap-Ma-Bob and Drinklip Portable Cupholder.
Digital Voice Recorder. Sometimes you have a great idea, a wonderful line of dialogue, or a whole scene pop into your head but you cannot get to your laptop or paper. How about a digital voice recorder? Some writers may do well to speak aloud into a recorder to capture words for their book. Recorders run anywhere from $20 to $150. Here’s a model for $30 that offers 536 hours of recording time, which I assume is more than your SmartPhone has.
USB Flash Drive. Novelty flash drives have been popping up, but some of my favorites are genre-based. Check out this awesome flash drive from Will Rockwell (he has several others) for the steampunk writer. (Or see the one EK Duncan made for herself. If you’re crafty . . .)
Or for the crime/mystery/horror/thriller writer, here’s a clue from a crime scene.
Romance authors might enjoy something like this.
Time. Honestly, the one thing I hear writers wanting more of, and not getting, is time. We struggle to squeeze writing and editing into our daily schedule, and one of the best gifts a loved one could give is helping us get time to write. Perhaps that involves booking a babysitter or offering to keep their kids for a day, giving a writer a night or weekend stay at a local hotel (room service included), or simply shutting the door to their writing room and delivering meals and attagirls or attaboys throughout the day.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten as a writer? What great gifts for writers have you seen?