Gifts for the writer in your life.

Books, generally, are wonderful. But to me, an old book is something special.

Books, generally, are wonderful. But to me, an old book is something special.

It’s officially December and you know what that means… Christmas shopping.

Most of us spend at least some of this month scratching our heads as we try to come up with just the right gift.

So I thought I might put forward a few suggestions for the writer in your life—gifts for writers are just so easy.

Let’s start with the obvious. Books. Writers are readers too. Books are always a great gift idea… and you can make them a little special.

Try for a rare or first edition book by a favourite author. Or go for a signed book. Something a little out of the ordinary.

There are also books about writing – my personal favourite is On Writing by Stephen King – but there are a quite few very good ones out there, depending on the writer you are buying for.

Another favourite – stationary. What was that you said? Boring? No way. Stationary can be fun. I’m not talking about printer paper, I’m talking about brightly coloured and funny shaped post it notes.

And… did you know you can get whiteboard paper that your can you stick on the wall and turn it into a giant white board? They are great for plotting.

You can also get giant post its to put on your wall for plotting purposes.

You can also get giant post its to put on your wall for plotting purposes.

Notebooks can be fun too – there are such lovely ones out there – but a word of caution. Some people get a bit fussy about their notebooks, so make sure you buy the right type. Have a look at the notebooks the writer in your life uses.

And of course let’s not forget pens. Really, really nice ones. A pen that makes signing a book for a reader an extra special experience.

Signing a book for a reader is always a joy... but with such a beautiful pen....

Signing a book for a reader is always a joy… but with such a beautiful pen….

I once got given a desk as a present – that was a pretty good idea. I got to choose the desk – and I am still writing on it.

All these are good presents – but the best present of all is … time.

If you want to help and support a writer, giving the gift of time is just the ticket. It can take many different forms. Just say – today I’ll do the chores or walk the dog or cook the dinner while you take the time to write. Try taking the kids out for the day, leaving the writer free to just write. And the good thing about time given in this way – it’s not expensive.

The one thing we all need more of....

The one thing we all need more of….

If you have the resources, there any other way to give writing time. Send your writer on a course, or a retreat. There they can focus on their writing with other like-minded souls.

OK – so here’s the shameless promotion part… Twice a year, I am one of two tutors leading a weekend retreat near Stratford Upon Avon. Yep –  Shakespeare country. This is the sort of thing I’m talking about when I suggest giving the writer in your life time to write. And a fun weekend away with other writers too.

The next one is in May 2017, but we are already taking bookings. You can find out more about the retreat here….

If a full weekend is not right for you, think about a one day course, or a manuscript appraisal… something to help a writer achieve their dreams.

I like very personal gifts. I spend a lot of time shopping to get just the right thing for the people in my life… At first glance the gifts I’ve suggested might not seem personal – but they are things that will help a writer achieve a dream. What could be more personal than that?

Good luck with the Christmas shopping.

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