Do you have any friends or loved ones who are writers? Are you having problems deciding what to get them for their birthdays or Christmas? First, we will talk about the normal but functional gifts you can bless them with. Books on writing, a dictionary, or a thesaurus is always appreciated, and writers can never have too many pens, pencils, and notebooks.
A laptop would be a fantastic gift. If your writer already has a laptop, a keyboard cover would be something they need, even if they don’t realize it. A glass of wine was knocked over on my keyboard not too long ago. My laptop survived; my keyboard did not and had to be replaced. For someone who was used to typing a lot, that was a disastrous event. A keyboard cover would have saved my keyboard. For those who type slowly or would rather not type, Dragon Naturally Speaking would enable them to write as quickly as they could talk.
For those who still use a typewriter, a box of typewriter ribbons along with some Wite-Out would be useful.
A digital audio voice recorder would enable the writer in your life to record thoughts for stories when not at home. It would also come in handy first thing in the morning to record thoughts about any dreams that were had during the night. If your writer waits until he is completely awake, those thoughts may have gone by then.
Thoughts about the story currently being worked on also tend to come while one is driving down the road. A digital audio recorder would be the thing for the writer in your life to have at times like these.
Does your writer need a caffeine boost for those nights spent writing into the wee hours of the morning? Several pounds of their favorite coffee or tea could be just what they are wishing for.
Thoughtful things to give the writer in your life
In a perfect world, we could give writer’s minds freedom from distractions. If their muse just refused to give them any more of their story, we could supply them with writer’s block removal. But we don’t live in a perfect world, so what can you do to let your writer know how deep your appreciation runs?
1) Support their passion. How can you do this? First, read their book. Then you can post a review of it on Amazon. Reviews are always appreciated.
2) Help them get things done so they have time to write. Maybe help your favorite writer get the house clean or take a day and offer some free child care. Time to spend doing what he or she loves is something every writer desires.
3) Does your writer have a special place to write? If not, maybe you could help them create one. Some can write amidst all kinds of distractions, but others need total peace and Help your writer find an appropriate place to write.
A gift that doesn’t cost a lot
Or you could give them something that would inspire their writing and put their creative minds to work. This is something you can’t buy in a store (except for the jar), and that would make this gift even more special.
A gift that would be low cost, appreciated and useful for anyone who writes is a journal in a jar. To make a journal in a jar, first you need a large jar with a lid. Next, come up with 365 questions about the person’s life, one for each day of the year. Some suggested questions are at the end of this article.
Write or type out each question on a small piece of paper. When you have a question for each day of the year written out, fold them in half, and put them all in the jar. Put the lid on and tie with a ribbon.
Include some instructions with the journal in a jar — “Take out one piece of paper each day and either answer the question about your own life or base a story on the question. At the end of a year, you’ll either have enough material to write your own life story, or you will have written 365 short stories.”
Of course, you can change the theme of “journal in a jar” to anything you believe the writer would enjoy. You can ask 365 questions about any subject underneath the sun or combine questions on several different areas that the individual is interested in.
Examples of questions to ask about someone’s life.
1. Was your name chosen for you because it had some special meaning to your parents?
2. What music groups were popular during your teenage years?
3. How did you meet your first boyfriend or girlfriend?
4. What was the political climate like in the world when you were born?
5. What is the one thing you could not possibly live without?
Tell the name for each of the following fears.
1. A fear of atomic explosions
2. A fear of belly buttons
3. A fear of the number eight
4. A fear of frogs
5. A fear of writing
Yes, those are actual phobias. You can do an internet search and find the names for hundreds of these irrational fears.
You could also give them a writing prompt for each day of the year. There are several places on the web where you can find good writing prompts. Or you could always write them out yourself. Instead of putting these in a jar, you could print them out on paper and give the prompts with an attractive notebook and pen.
Examples of writing prompts
1. The first snowfall of the year had always been a special time for her, but this year was different.
2. The king’s mistress gives birth to twins. Scared that the king will find out, she sends one of them to be raised by a couple in the village. Why doesn’t she want the king to find out she had twins?
3. Clarissa buys a coat during the summer at a yard sale but doesn’t wear it until winter. When she first puts it on and sticks her hands in the pockets, she finds a small pouch of diamonds. How did they end up in the coat?
4. Barry and Melissa have just moved to a new neighborhood with their family. Their first night in the new house, they are kept awake by strange noises coming from the underneath their beds. What is making the noises?
5.Her windshield wipers quit working, but the rain came down even harder.
You could also give the writer a notebook and pen to go with the journal in a jar. The cost of a notebook, pen, and jar is not much, and they do make a thoughtful and fantastic gift bundle for a writer. You will spend more time and effort than money on this gift that will be used and appreciated and used for quite some time.
There are many variations of the gift you could come up with yourself. Have fun with it and adapt it to something the writer in your life would truly enjoy. Merry Christmas and happy New Year!