Are you wondering what to buy for the writer in your life? What? I’m not on your Christmas list?! Even so, if there’s a writer you want to spoil during the holidays, you might find this list of Christmas gifts useful.
1. Beautiful/crazy pen
Most of the writers I know are stationery nuts. This seems like a boring one and I’m often given pens, but nothing beats the excitement of opening the box and trying out a new nib. It’s a bit like going on a date… you’re always thinking: Is this ‘the one’? You don’t have to splash out on a pen. I enjoy receiving novelty pens (almost) as much as a Mont Blanc. Anything with lights/feathers/sparkle will bring a smile to the face of the writer in your life when they’re struggling with their word count.
2. Crappy notebook
While I heartily encourage you to buy the writer in your life a beautiful pen, I discourage you from buying them a beautiful notebook, because they’ll never, ever use it! People who treasure stationery never want to scribble in a gorgeous Moleskine because they feel their crossings out will devalue the pages. I have stacks of beautiful notebooks at home that are just too pretty to write in. Instead I do my drafts on Legal Pads that I have no qualms about destroying with ink blots, spelling errors and doodles. Do them a favour and buy the writer in your life a value notebook – ideally something they can rip the pages out of.
3. Bluetooth speaker
Why not give the writer in your life something to listen to things on? As well as a writer, I’m also a podcast addict and have a bluetooth speaker set up in most rooms of the house. A speaker’s also a good gift if the writer in your life travels a lot or hosts workshops. I often take one with me when I’m speaking. There are a couple of videos I like to share with participants, but even with a small group my laptop speakers don’t cut it. Kakkoii (full disclosure: they’re a client) makes these very stylish numbers and ships them worldwide.
Most writers I know are also voracious readers, but many of them struggle to decide what to read next. Even with a GoodReads account the choice is overwhelming. So why not make the decision easy and choose for them? I was really touched when a friend sent me a copy of Essentialism through the post. It’s for people who have a compulsive tendency to say ‘yes’ to everything… so when she read it she thought of me! I learnt so much from reading it and I’m still putting the author’s wise words into practice. In terms of fiction, for my last birthday another friend gave me a copy of Americanah. As someone who’s relocated to the US this was a perfect choice. But frankly, you can’t go wrong with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – she’s a bit of an all-round genius.