Cool gifts for word-workers
Every day is a great day to give a gift
If you know a writer, you know that it can be a tough profession: not everyone is making six-figure salaries. (I’m into the four figures if you count the two decimal points after the period!) The world of writing can be filled with intense competition, rejection, deadlines, and attacks on self-confidence.
If you love a writer, you know what I mean. It doesn’t have to be a holiday to give a gift to the writer in your life…to encourage them, to say you believe in what they’re doing, to cheer them up when they’re discouraged, or to cheer them on when they’ve had a success. Here are some cool, inexpensive ideas to celebrate the word-worker in your life:
My desk used to always be dusty and decorated haphazardly with stray ink marks and dark-stained rings from my coffee cup. No more! I love my Wayber dual-sided leather desk pad. It serves as a mousepad, comes in a color that coordinates with my office decor, easily wipes clean, and reduces noise. It’s available in three sizes and eight different two-color options. Best, the price is only $10-$16 dollars depending on the size. Any writer will love what this simple accessory does for their desk.
Pens have always been my word weapon of choice, but I recently started experimenting with using great pencils for mind mapping. Don’t ask me why, but using graphite instead of ink for the activities that I associate with free-writing and brainstorming seems “right.” Any writer would love a beautiful set of new, high-quality pencils. After researching the craftsmanship and history of the pencil, my favorite pencil has become the Blackwing, complete with its flat ferrule and rectangular erasers. A gift box of twelve beautiful pencils costs $24.99…about two dollars apiece, but they’re advertised as writing with “half the pressure and twice the speed.” What writer wouldn’t want that? (No pressure, faster writing!) If you know your writer loves pencils, you might even consider splurging on a “Blackwing Volumes” subscription. Get 12 new, specially designed pencils in unique colors and graphics every three months for $99 per year.
A gift doesn’t have to be expensive to show someone you love them. Check out the vast array of clipboards in zany patterns, pulsating colors, or energy-inducing graphics. Writers can keep notes clipped to it, carry work around, work outside, and always know where it is when a paper is clipped to a board. Inexpensive, but fun and cool. $2.00 — $10.00 each.
Writers carry all kinds of equipment around with them. Pens. Pencils. Paperclips. Highlighters. Stick-it notes. Labels. Jumpdrives. Notepads. Make it easy for them to take their office everywhere they go with a zippered pouch that corrals all those various but tiny tools. They come in all colors, in assorted sizes and shapes. Some have clever sayings or great art on them. They can be carried separately or put into a notebook. From $2.00 and up.
Your favorite book
Writers are readers. If you have a book that you love, buy a copy to share with the writer in your life. One of my friends gifted me with Rick Bragg’s, Ava’s Man, a book that has become one of my all-time favorites, and she gave it to me as a “just because” present. Gifting your favorite book not only is a generous, caring gift for the writer in your life, it supports another writer out there who needs to sell books!
Subscriptions to a publication
Writers are curious and can never know enough. Part of the writing profession is always learning new facts and investigating new ideas. Gift your writer with a subscription that you’ll know they’ll enjoy. Many writing and poetry magazines exist: Writer’s Digest, The Writer, Poets & Writers, and others. A whole year’s subscription is often under $25. Whatever your writer friend is interested in, there’s a publication that they’ll enjoy, no matter whether it’s science, fashion, history, medicine, geology or entomology. Give them what they need, and every issue that arrives, they’ll thank you.
The gift of a writing or productivity app
I am devoted to EVERNOTE, an app that puts a digital file cabinet, complete with label and indexing capabilities, right at my keyboarding fingertips. (I now have more than 300 files filled with online clippings and websites to be mined for future articles.) Evernote allows me to search by a keyword, share information, highlight key points, and keep cataloging anything I find while I’m reading that I might use later. I consider it essential. You could give this gift for three months and still spend less than $25.00 bucks because it’s just $8.00 a month. Lots of grammar, organization, time-tracking and productivity apps for writers exist. They’re out there just waiting for a writer who needs them. All you have to do is play matchmaker. Never wait to do a nice gesture When the mood strikes you to do an act of kindness, don’t wait. A writer you care about will benefit from your act of generosity, and you’ll get joy from watching your favorite word-worker smile at the really cool gift you just gave them.