Felicity H. Barber
I’m a speechwriter, executive communications specialist and coach. I write speeches, advise business leaders on messaging and coach people to deliver perfect presentations, pitches and speeches.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I could not agree more with #2
All great ideas — and I do know alot of writers! In fact, these are great ideas for any creative person, including designers like myself. Thanks, Felicity —