GREAT GIFTS FOR WRITERS
I’m shopping late this year due to surgery and a couple complications knocking me to my knees–and I’m reminded of Christmases past–and faux pas committed on behalf of well-meaning family members (not mine, but those of other writers).
There’s the writer wife who left hints–some subtle and some bold, including a sale circular taped to the refrigerator door–and still ended up with a lovely piece of crystal when all she’d yearned for had been a fax.
There’s the writer husband who left hints–including an explicit, written addition to a shopping list–and still ended up without the gift card from the office supply store he wanted because his darling wife “wanted to surprise” him. She did, of course, but not in the way she or he had hoped.
Then there’s the writer who wanted books–novels to read–and got Quick Books, so the writer could do the spouse’s business’s bookkeeping. (Yeah, that went over well. )
And the spouse who got a trip to Italy when the sole item on her wish list was to attend a writer’s conference–which now, she could not afford to attend because of the expensive trip to Italy.
For those of you shopping for writers. Here’s the thing. Writers are very easy to please. If you want a “cannot fail” gift, give them a gift card for an office supply store. The writer will feel they’re in heaven–and that they’ve got the most thoughtful person in the world shopping for them. Why? Because of the thought, the acknowledgment that writing is important to the writer–and you know that and place value on it.
If you want something more personal, consider a special pen or notebook. Flag tapes, post-it-notes, banker’s clips. None of these are expensive items, but you would be amazed at how many times on writer’s chat loops they’re discussed. A specific type of paper. A specific pen. Pastel or neon post-its. A little organization caddy for these tiny things. Anything writing related brings smiles to the writer’s face and warms his or her heart.
Above, I said that this is a “cannot fail to please” gift. Since then I’ve learned there is never a cannot fail gift, though in the case being cited, it wasn’t due to the gift itself not being welcome, but due to a disrespectful card attached to it. Just something to bear in mind…
And if you’re flat broke and cannot afford a gift, there are heart-warming things you can do that are definitely welcome and appreciated:
1. Have you read an author’s book and loved it? If so, go to amazon.com or bn.com or another online store and post a review. You have no idea how much those reviews mean to authors.
2. Write a fan letter. Listen, these are so treasured by authors. And they don’t care if they’re emailed or written on a paper towel. It is the thought–hearing what you have to say–that counts. They’re kept forever and treasured that long.
3. Visit the author’s social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, Google +, Tumblr or others) and share a post, leave a comment, Like the page. This really helps the writer and is deeply appreciated.
4. Join the writer’s street team. One of a writer’s greatest challenges is in letting people know a new book is out. Spreading the word. That’s a fantastic gift for a writer and helps not just once but all year long in a multitude of ways.
5. Give the writer the gift of time. Watch the kids for an hour so s/he can write. If you are the kid, then give the writer a coupon.
Years ago–and this remains one of my most favorite gifts ever–my daughter gave me 20 coupons. She’d handwritten them on squares of notebook paper she’d cut. Each coupon was good for her to bring me a cup of coffee. Considering my office was upstairs and the coffee was downstairs, this was a really, really thoughtful gift. I loved it–and to give it, boy, she loved me.
Office supplies, personal support online, and coupons. For writers, it just doesn’t get much better than this!
© 2013, Vicki Hinze
Vicki Hinze is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest releases are: Duplicity (military romantic thriller,) Torn Loyalties (inspirational romantic suspense), Legend of the Mist (time-travel romantic suspense), One Way to Write a Novel (nonfiction). She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s online community: Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact. www.vickihinze.com.