Guest Post by Jasmine June Cabanaw
Do you have a writer on your holiday shopping list (or are you a writer hoping to receive the perfect gift)? Then this wish list of the perfect gifts for writers is for you.
Choosing a gift for a writer isn’t necessarily all that hard; notebooks, word games, and gift cards to book stores all make easy gifts. But if you’re looking for a truly perfect gift (because go big or go home, right?) then you’ll have to put a little more thought into it.
The key is thinking like a writer. Which is why I’m writing this post. A friend told me that this year, she doesn’t want to give me “yet another notebook.” But since she’s not a writer herself, she has no clue what else to give me. Gifts that seem like commonsense to me don’t even cross her mind.
So here’s a list of five perfect gifts for writers. And if you’re a writer yourself, make sure to put these on your wish list!
An Online Writing Course
Writers are busy people. Even if we’ve achieved the ultimate dream of writing for a living, we usually still have side projects that take up our time after work hours. And yet part of being a writer is continuing our writing education. Full time job, side projects, classes… you see how little time we have, right?
The beauty of an online writing course is that the writer in your life can take the course anytime, anywhere. An online writing course can fit within even the busiest of schedules. There are a variety of courses to choose from, too, so it’s a gift that can be given time and time again. Just be sure to give an online writing course that’s suitable for the writer— you don’t want to give a journalism course to a poet, for example (unless they are trying to be the ultimate multi-tasker, like me).
Writers may have busy schedules, but that’s all the more reason to take a vacation that focuses primarily on writing. Writing retreats are amazing. Seriously. You get to just nerd out with a bunch of other writers for days on end. It’s writer heaven. I mean, the last writing retreat I went to made me cry. At one point, all 300+ people in the room were crying, that’s how into we got (thanks, Elizabeth Gilbert).
However, retreats are not cheap. It’s quite the splurge for most writers to spend the time and money on a retreat, which is why a writing retreat is an amazing and perfect gift for any writer. If you’re brave enough, feel free to buy yourself a ticket and tag along.
Writing Tools that are actually Needed
Notebooks, pens, and pencils, oh my! Writers love these things. Send a writer into a bookstore and they’ll return with a new notebook every time (or am I just speaking for myself here?). But these wonderfully delightful items are not things we usually need.
You know what I really need? An ergonomic keyboard. So glamorous, right? I’ll be the fanciest girl in town with that gift. But it’s something I really need and I haven’t gotten around to buying myself one. Or that wireless mouse, or office chair with lumbar support, or new e-reader with a glare-free screen. These items are all tools I should really have in my toolbox, and I bet you have a writer in your life that needs them, too. Sometimes the least fancy gifts are the best ones.
A Therapy Session
Ha ha ha! Kidding! Not an actual therapy session, but something that truly is pure therapy for writers is a consultation with a literary coach or agent. A literary consultation is a crucial part of the book making process and is useful to any writer who has a project in the works. Even writers without a current writing project can benefit from a session with a literary coach, or could schedule the session for when they think they’ll have a writing project on the go.
There are a variety of literary consultations to choose from, including ones with editors, agents, and teachers. This means you’ll have to do a little digging to find out what will be the most beneficial to the writer in your life. But that’s what makes this gift a special one and a perfect gift to give for the holidays.
Re-Gifting a Writer’s Words
One of the most perfect gifts I ever received was a spiral notebook of a short story I wrote when I was ten, with the pages all laminated and typed up nicely (thank goodness, because I doubt I would have been able to read my ten year old handwriting). I had forgotten all about that story, but then there it was, immortalized in laminate and metal coils. That trip down memory lane to my childhood self was a special gift indeed.
There are many ways to turn a writer’s words into a present. Here’s a short list:
*Take a paragraph or striking sentence and put it on canvas. Voilà! Beautiful artwork made from the writer’s own words.
*Publish their writing with a print on demand service, such as Lulu or Blurb. You can choose one story, make a collection of short stories, or even a book of poems.
*Make a bookmark using a sentence from one of the writer’s stories as an inspiring quote. There are bookmark making services online, or you can make one by hand and laminate it.
*Put sentence from one of their stories on an ornament. You can hand paint a glass ornament, have an ornament engraved, or have one created.
*Make a photo book and use the writer’s words to caption the photos. You can use phrases from a single story or multiple pieces of writing.
*Make a scrapbook of things they’ve written (just don’t use their original copies!).
These ideas are just a few of many. If you think of more, let me know! I’ve got writers to shop for, too.