Gift giving season is upon us. I know that it's probably snuck up on you since there aren't any ads to encourage you to shop or anything.
Or maybe you're the type who finishes shopping in July. If so, feel free to move on.
For the rest of you, here's a quick list of things I think writers would like to receive. Feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments. Also, feel free to surreptitiously share those you think might need it. ;-)
1 -- Caffeine
A writer can never have too much caffeine, it doesn't matter if their beverage of choice is coffee, tea, or soda. They want more to fuel the muse who is a demanding beast. They NEED more. So give them coffee or tea or soda. Or give them gift cards so that they can go drink and write in their favorite shop. Or give them both….THAT would be awesome.
2 -- Snacks
Like I said, the muse is a demanding beast and wants to be fed too. Find out what the writer in your life likes to snack on (chocolate, cheese, cookies, popcorn, licorice, pretzels, chips, nuts, WHATEVER) and get them some. For the gift that keeps on giving, get them a subscription to a Food of the Month Club (http://gourmetfood.about.com/od/wheretobuygourmetfoods/tp/The-Best-Food-Of-The-Month-Clubs.htm).
3 -- Time
We all need more time to write. You could buy a writer time by getting them a gift certificate for house cleaning, offering to do a job around the house that's usually their responsibility, or offering to babysit. If you really want to get them a lavish gift of time, get them a hotel stay where all they have to do is write and order room service.
4 -- Books
Writers love to read. Get them the best seller they've been eyeing. Or a gift certificate to their favorite bookstore. Or a subscription for audio books.
5 -- Writing stuff
What does the writer in you life need/want in order to write? A new keyboard? Pens and notebooks? A beautiful journal to dream in? A calendar? A writing program?
6 -- Education
Writers love to learn. Get them a book on the craft of writing or a subscription to a writing magazine. Offer to send them to a workshop or conference. Or if they really want to write a hot air balloonist who travels the country solving crime, get them a ride on a hot air balloon.
7 -- Call them a writer (or author, or novelist, or whatever it is they want to be called)
Whether they're a hobbyist or a professional, or someone striving to be a professional, the writer in your life works hard and needs to be acknowledged for what they do. Tell them (and the world) that they're a writer by giving them things like Writer mugs, t-shirts, jewelry, tote bags, bookends, plaques, posters, etc. Just go to etsy, or Cafe Press or Zazzle and type in "writing" or "novelist" or "author" and a whole plethora of gifts will be just a point and click away
8 -- A life
Writers can't live by words alone…but many try. They need to get out and live in order to breathe life into the worlds they create. Take them to a movie, a show, to the botanical garden, rock climbing, kayaking, to a museum, to a paint-your-own place, bowling, etc. Basically get them out of their writing chair and into the world.
9 -- Things that make writing comfortable
Distractions are a writer's enemy. If your writer is often hot or cold, an electric blanket, small heater, or a fan can make all the difference in helping them stay focused on their work. Or maybe they need a new chair or lamp. And some writers like to use things that help to get and keep them in the writing zone. Things like: scented candles and music (get them speakers for their writing area, or new headphones, or a gift card for music) set the mood for writing.
10 -- Your support
Writing is hard. Writing is lonely.
Let your writer know you support them. Ask how their project is going. Help them celebrate their successes. (In case you don't know, finishing a project or making a deadline is a great reason to celebrate.) Brag about what they're doing to others. Let them know you believe in their dreams.
Tell me Killer Friends: What kinds of gifts do you think writers want? What are the best gifts you've received?