Alright, I know that there are a ton of posts like this right now. Every single blog I read, (and I read a lot) have had a ‘best gift guide’ in the past month.
Mine’s different. This is a list of things to give creative writers, but none of them will cost you a penny. But I bet that any writer/parent would rather have the things on this list than anything you can buy in any store.
- Take the kids for a few hours. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little monsters. But they do not love my writing time. They want to mess with my papers, and ask a million questions, and pester about lunch. If anyone wants to take them out of the house for me for an hour, I love that person.
- Offer them some constructive criticism. I don’t know why, but everyone one says they want to read my book, but no one gives me feedback other than ‘I like it.’ Listen, if a writer is serious about their writing, they want to know the parts that made you put the book down. Critique with honesty, please.
- Cook them dinner. So that we don’t have to, and can spend more time writing. Okay, so this one I don’t have to worry about, because I don’t cook (my awesome husband is my homemaker, so I don’t cook.) But when I was a single mommy, I would have killed for someone to cook for me so I didn’t have to. I swear, that’s half of why I got married.
- Help them clean, but not their office. You might accidentally throw something important away. Really, if anyone wants to come do my dishes, I would love that.
- Let them talk about their WIP. I love to talk about Woven, and sometimes I get think people get sick of hearing about of it. I would just love it if someone besides my husband would let me just talk about my book for awhile. Also, if you could give some honest feedback, that would be cool. (See number two.)
- Run some errands for them. Grab stuff from my po box. Maybe get some milk and bread for me. Stop and pick up some wine. (I’ll pay for it, but I live in a place where you can’t just grab some while you’re at the grocery store and State Stores are a little out of my way.) Return my library books, please. Anything that might have fallen through the cracks while I was working on my master work.
- Make a promise right now to not say, “You should use this in your book,” at all on 2016. If I want to use it, I’ll use it. If I don’t, I won’t.
- Share something of theirs on Social Media, but only if you really liked it. I love it when my non writer friends share my posts. I hope they liked it, and it touches me to think they wanted everyone on Facebook to know they liked that post.
If you must spend money, though, here are some things most writers would love to get.
- Pay for their Netflix for a month. For, um, research.
- Make a donation to Wikipedia in their name. I donate every year this time, and I am committed to seeing it stay ad free.
- Buy them some of their favorite writing materials. But it has to be their favorite. I would love some moleskins, and le pens, and some college ruled notebooks. There are writers who would not touch that stuff, though.
- On Writing, by Stephen King. I don’t agree with him about plotting, (he’s a filthy pantser) but On Writing inspired me. I learned so much from it, and often come back to it for inspiration.
- Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Look, I’m about halfway through this book, and it is so inspirational. I mean, really, I’ve already devoted myself to my kids and my writing, but it makes me feel really good about that decision.
- Get them a gift card for their favorite takeout place. I guarantee sometime in the next twelve months I will have a night where I need to order some dinner.
I hope you all have good luck finding the perfect gifts for everyone on your list, no matter what you’re celebrating. After eleven years of being a mommy, I’ve learned the secret to a perfect Christmas morning; one gift to cuddle, one gift they’ll play with all year, one gift that includes time with you, and one gift they’ll appreciate later. Happy Holidays.