It's coming up to Christmas time. The shops are full of sparkle and noise. Family favourite recipes are being dusted off. The tree - if you have one - is probably up by now, and the nativity set put in pride of place. If you are anything like me, you've written up a gift list and are trying to calmly work your way through it. But we all have those friends or family members that can be hard to buy for. So, I thought I'd make things a little easier for you and offer a list of ideas for how you can show love to your writer friends at this time of year. (Even the closet writers you know love to write but are way too shy to ever talk about it!)
I've added $'s to show the cost involved with each option.
#1 - Give them a new notebook. ($-$$)
Trust me, writers like notebooks. Writers collect notebooks. Writers go through more notebooks than they like to admit. Writers also sometimes feel bad buying themselves more notebooks. Therefore, notebooks are always a great gift for a writer.
#2 - Wrap up another writing related utensil. ($-$$)
A nice pen. A fairtrade pencil case. A paperweight. Sticky notes. Did I already mention a notebooks?
These kinds of gifts communicate a gentle affirmation of the writing your friend does. it doesn't have to be huge to say 'I believe in what you are doing, keep at it!'
#3 - Gift cards for bookstores are always popular. ($-$$)
Writers are generally always readers. Reading is PD for writers, as well as being fun. The gift card doesn't have to be huge to help balance out the cost of a new resource.
#4 - Write a review (or two or three) and post it online. (0)
This one doesn't cost anything but can be a huge encouragement and help because, in the book writing world, reviews can make or break the life of a book. If your writer friend has been published and you've read their books (even if it was years ago) pop online and leave a review for them. Good places to leave reviews are Goodreads, Amazon and wherever you buy your books! You could even let your friend know you wrote some reviews if you are giving them a card.
#5 -Sponsor them to attend a writing course or conference or get a professional edit. (0-$$$)
These kinds of input can make all the difference to the growth of an emerging writer, but they can come with some hefty price tags. It can also be hard to arrange if the writer has a young family or other commitments. Sponsorship like this could come in earmarked gifts, recommendations or even offers of support/baby-sitting or meals while the event is taking place.
#6 - Buy their books as gifts for other people. ($-$$)
Show you love what they write buy gifting their books to other people you know who might enjoy them! The bonus is that other people get to learn about your writer friend's work too, and you know you are gifting books you believe in.
#7 - Write a card of encouragement. (0-$)
Trust me, it can make the difference between giving up and keeping at it when you hear someone else remind you why it's worth continuing to write. Never underestimate the impact your words of encouragement can make to a writer.
#8 - Commit to praying for them. (0)
Writing can be a discouraging practice. It can be lonely. It can be fraught with decisions and badgered by competing values. Praying for your writer friend can be the most valuable support of all. Pray for protection, for wisdom, for perseverance, for opportunities, for growth, for courage, for clarity, for depth of grace - especially if they are writers of faith.
I've received all of the above gifts at one point or another in my own writing journey, and they have meant the world to me. I am so thankful for the friends and family who have, in big ways and small, encouraged me to keep going. I hope you get a chance to bless the writers in your life this Christmas, and if you have other suggestions of gifts for writers, please share them in the comments below.
The Penny Drops
In high school I used to write what I'd call 'thinks' - little bits of writing about whatever topic or issue I was mulling over at the time. I still write these little pieces.
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