2020 has been a horrible year and as we wind down towards what might be the most disappointing socially distances and masked Christmas, I think we all should focus on the heart of the season. The giving of gifts to loved ones.
Now some of you might have writers in your family or group of friends. Young ones too. Kids in high school who have been stuck behind a computer screen and webcam lense for the better part of a year, who might be a fledgling writer in waiting.
Here are the 5 things to get them for Christmas to keep them on the path of future award-winning and best-selling novelist.
1: A copy of the Element of Style.
This is a non-negotiable part of being a writer, A tiny book that can be read in an afternoon, it contains the basic rules of our wacky English language and teaches people how to write good prose. I buy second-hand copies every time I see them as they are generally $5.00 or less and give them out to anyone who says they are a writer but doesn't have a copy yet.
2: An absurd amount of their favourite Pen
Being left-handed I need to use a felt-tipped pen or they generally stop working. So it seems I am always in need of a sharpie fine point or seven. Getting your author a case of their favourite writing implement is a sentimental and practical way to keep them stocked with the tools of the trade.
3: Quite literally any notebook
Of course, your author might be picky and have a favourite brand and set up but one thing I know it's free often kills brand loyalty. Find your writer a well-made and sized notebook and they are sure to be appreciative of the sentiment. Lord knows we all have partially filled ones filling our desks and bookshelves alike.
4: Anything off their Amazon wishlist or TBR
Reading makes a writer better. Writers tend to read what they want to write. Amazon has delightful wishlists where your writer can show you exactly what they want to read. Low effort and maximum impact. What else could you ask for?
5: A day or two where the entirety is gifted for writing or related activities.
This is the most meaningful option. Writers, especially ones with day jobs or classes to attend, don't have the most valuable resource to use when writing on their craft. and that is uninterrupted time. That's not just time behind the keyboard, it can be time getting inspiration or doing on-site research for settings. Gifting a writer a trip to a landmark they plan on writing about or just to a new bookstore or library than their usual can be life-changing and inspirational all in one fell swoop. Find out when and where they want to go and facilitate that need with support. It can be a car ride, bus pass, or plane ticket. Or even just the expectation that they can go without having to be home for dinner that night. To spend their time on their craft with abandon.
Hope that helps and merry Christmas.