Inspiring Holiday Gifts for Writers by Rochelle Melander
December 1, 2015
Note From Rochelle
Where did the year go? It seems like just yesterday we were planning for 2015 and now we’re purchasing calendars for the New Year. Yikes!
As always, I’ll be writing about how we can review our accomplishments and make sense of our missteps in 2015 and vision for 2015. But first—before it gets too late to purchase gifts for the holiday, I want to offer some tips for buying gifts and books for the writers and readers in your life. This week’s tip talks about gifts for writers and next week’s tip will provide some of my all time favorite books to give as gifts.
Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
I’ve wanted to create a gift guide for writers for a long time—and finally, here it is. If you know a writer who needs a bit of inspiration or encouragement—and I can’t think of a writer who doesn’t need that—then these gifts are perfect.
1. The “You Rock” Journal
Several years ago, I purchased a journal and filled it with love letters and sweet quotes for my husband. It made a great Christmas gift that he’d held onto over the years.
Find a journal you like (or make your own out of an old book) and fill it with:
+Inspiring writing and reading quotes (Goodreads has a great collection quotes on writing and reading.)
+Quotes from your favorite books.
+Encouraging notes from you.
You need one, too: Make a “You Rock” Journal for yourself by copying or pasting in your favorite you rock letters from editors, readers, and friends.
2. The Writing Bag
I’ve always liked the idea of having a portable office. Today that’s easy. My niece and daughter both write on the notes feature of their iPhone/iPod. For the writer in your life, purchase a sturdy tote. I like the totes made from recycled feed and cement bags. (Try the bags from Malia, whose mission is “ to increase economic opportunity for women in Cambodia and to support organizations that fight human trafficking in Southeast Asia.”)
Fill the bag with:
+A blank journal or notebook.
+Bookmark sticky notes.
+Chocolate or other appropriate treat.
+Gift card to a coffee shop.
+An inspiring writing book.
3. The Superwriter Kit
Most days I feel more like a slug than a Superwriter. But I long to write faster than a speeding bullet, leap over writer’s block in a single bound, and turn out stories more powerful than a speeding train. For the writer in your life who needs a little superhero mojo, think about creating a Superwriter kit for them.
Pack a superhero tote (You can get a dozen of them at the Oriental Trading Company or choose a special tote at Superhero Stuff.)
Fill the bag with:
+A list of words that describe your super-heroic writer!
+Superhero socks (Superhero Stuff carries great socks. I also like the socks from Joy of Socks.)
+Superhero shirt (Target has a great collection of inexpensive superhero shirts—and of course, so does Superhero Stuff)
+ You could also add a superhero journal, hat, and a few comic books!
4. The gift of the month club
For the last few years, my husband has given me a gift of the month club for my birthday. So far, he’s gifted me with a sock of the month club from Foot Cardigan, gift card of the month (my favorite) and film of the month from Film Movement.
I’ve done a bit of searching on my own, and found two that I think are great for writers. Of course you could always create one of your own! Several years ago, a friend gave me a bread of the month club, and made me a delicious loaf of bread every month for a whole year. Yum!
Snack boxes. Who doesn’t love (or need) snacks? When you purchase a subscription from Love with Food, they donate money to feed hungry children. Cool, eh?
Curated boxes. What would it be like to have a gift chosen by the experts at Book Riot, Science guy Bill Nye, fashion guru Nina Garcia, or musician Pharrell Williams? You can with the curaged boxes from Quarterly.
5. The gift of an experience
In my family, we’ve stopped giving stacks of holiday gifts every year. Instead, we choose an experience or adventure to take together. So far, we’ve traveled to places like Branson and Disney World. We’ve seen the Rolling Stones and Ed Sheeran in concert. And we’ve visited many museums. If you’re looking for an experience to give to a writer or reader, try:
+A conference. Jodie Renning maintains a fantastic list of writing conferences at her site.
+An author event. I’ve been lucky enough to live near an independent bookstore for the last 20 years. I’ve seen famous writers in person before and after they made the big time. Gift a writer friend with an outing to a book talk by one of their favorite writers—and buy the book for them so they can have the experience of a meeting a treasured author.
+A coaching session. When your friends are struggling with how to overcome writer’s block, choose a book project, or build a platform—you may not know how to help them. Though you can listen and ask questions, it’s tough to be objective. Think about giving them a session with a writing coach.
From now through the end of December, I’m offering a special on coaching sessions. Purchase a single 45-minute session for just $75. When you purchase five sessions for friends, I’ll give you a session at no charge!
A final word. I skipped shopping on Black Friday in favor of reading all day. It made me think that the best thing you could give a writer—or reader, for that matter—is time. So, if none of these amazing gifts seem quite right, then offer to create some extra time for the writer in your life. Take care of their kids, walk their dogs, or cook them a meal so that they can spend an extra hour at the keyboard.