Black Friday: A writer’s Christmas wish-list

Dear Writer’s Family Member or Friend:

Just in time for the first day of Christmas shopping, here’s a list for you. Feel free to bring it up on your smartphone during your shopping trip. Smiles and hugs and other acts of gratitude will be yours to enjoy on Christmas Day as your favorite writer opens your thoughtful gift.

Expensive, But My Writer is Worth It:

  • iPad. A lovely toy, one that I have in my possession for review. You might be wondering what a writer can do with an iPad to justify the cost, and that’s a question I will answer in an upcoming post. So don’t let that large number stop you from the purchase. Just buy one for her, and I’ll do the rest.
  • Kindle. Printed books will always be king, but your writer can’t help but be inspired by this marvelous work of technology. An e-Reader with thousands of books available for the taking? Yes!
  • Laptop. If your writer is still tied to the desk due to the lack of a portable system, then be the one to set him free. Any brand will do. As long as it has a good-sized monitor, a keyboard, and a word processor, he’ll be good to go. (However, a MacBook Air or Pro will earn you extra points.)
  • Adobe Creative Suite. Has your writer mentioned a desire to use Adobe products? Then set her up with the best page, graphics, and photography software ever made so she can start drafting the look of her book, publish her e-book, or design her website. InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat, Dream Weaver, Illustrator  — I love Adobe products.
  • Fine Writing Pen. Sometimes your writer needs to step away from the keyboard and let the pen and ink flow across a paper page. Waterman is a nice place to start. In this digital age, a writing pen will be an unexpected and appreciated gift.
  • Desk Chair. A writer needs a good desk chair. Give one that shows you care. See Herman Miller for examples of swoon-worthy chairs.
  • Camera. Many writers are also photographers or at least use photography in their writing projects. Spring for a high-end, SLR camera this year, rather than the usual compact. Canon and Nikon brands are the industry favorites.

Okay — I had to list those items, just for the fun of it. They’re from my Dream Gift List. Time to return to reality…

Hey! I Can Afford This:

  • Scrivener. A “complete writing studio” tool to help organize those thousands of words she’s been writing. There are a number of applications like Scrivener (many are free), but I’m finding this one to be a favorite among writers, especially novelists. And if your writer is a Wrimo, the software is available at half-price if she’s a winner!
  • Subscription to a Print Magazine. E-readers are great, but there’s just something about holding the printed page in your hand. Writer’s Digest is just one of many magazines that offer page upon page of writing advice and inspiration.
  • Domain Name and Website Hosting. Pay for your writer to have his own domain name (i.e., http://www.nameofyourwriter.com) along with a year of web hosting. Do it now, because after your writer friend becomes well-known for his craft, you might end up having to spend thousands to buy the domain name. (FYI, I just purchased darlamcdavid.com!) My provider is Blue Host, but there are many other web hosting providers from which to choose, and the price is always right.
  • Classy Writing Notebook. I had not heard of the Moleskine notebook company until I restarted my writing life, though I’d probably seen one of its products. But the brand name is all over the writing sites I visit, thought it is just one of many companies who cater to writers of all types. Take a look at this Moleskine notebook and get inspired to buy it or something similar for your writer.
  • Local Bookstore Gift Card. Writers love books, so you can’t go wrong with this gift. Load it with a nice amount that will enable your writer to buy several hardcover books. And instead of purchasing from an online store, get it from your local bookstore. That way, your writer will have to visit the store, get a little exercise, and possibly overhear something that will become a scene or two in her next story!
  • Book Version of Your Writer’s Blog Posts.  Transfer those posts to the printed page with Blurb, an online service that I’ve used. It will take a bit of time and scheming, but when your writer opens the gift and you see the look on his face, you’ll be glad you did.

I Wish I Could Spend More, but You Know that I Care:

  • Coffee/Tea and Mug. We writers love our beverages and can never have enough mugs. A personalized, Garfield-sized mug will do the trick. Top it off with a bag of her favorite coffee or tea flavor and you’ve created an excellent yet inexpensive gift for your writer.
  • iTunes Gift Card. Provide background music for your writer via an iTunes card. Send it the easy way with a link or print out a certificate to present in person.
  • Gift Basket of Office Supplies. Have fun with this gift as you fill a basket with items he can use: pens, paper clips, printer paper, envelopes, stamps, sticky notes, staples, rubber bands, tape, printer ink, picture frames, organizers. Staples always has great holiday deals and usually has free shipping this time of the year. Round it out with his favorite snacks and beverages.
  • Business Cards. Help your writer to claim the title of “Writer” with business cards that say it for her. You can create a set for a minimal amount at Vista Print.
  • “Let Me Do It” Gift Certificates. Make a list of the tasks your writer keeps putting off and pick a few to do. Does your writer’s office need a new coat of paint? Computer hardware installed? A basketful of documents to be shredded? Windows washed? Files organized? Email sorted/deleted? Do a little investigating and then create certificates offering to take care of those nagging tasks.

So, there’s a good start for you on this Black Friday shopping day of all days. And please note that I am not being paid to endorse any of these items. They are all products on my ever-growing personal “wish-list”as I return to the writing life, and I’ll review several of the tech items in future posts. Be sure to subscribe and stay in touch so that you don’t miss those reviews.

Now … go out, brave those crowds, and make your favorite writer jump for joy on Christmas Day!

Question: If you could choose any item that you thought would increase your writing creativity/productivity, what would it be?


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