Christmas is almost here, and hopefully you’ve done all your shopping. I finished up mine yesterday by getting presents for S. If you’re a writer shopping for yourself, though, or if you’ve got a writer on your list and you’re still looking, here are a few last-minute gift ideas.
Cheap headphones. I was in Best Buy shopping yesterday, and during the many, many minutes I was standing in line, I saw some really cheap headphones, and I nearly bought them for myself. I kind-of wish I had, in fact. Like most people, I have a “nice” pair of headphones, but they’re a bit too big to carry with me all the time, so I often forget them at home. And then I end up stuck somewhere, trying to write in public, with all sorts of noise and distractions going on around me. That’s the sort of situation where I would want some small, cheap headphones–small enough that I could take them with me, and cheap enough that if I lose them, I won’t feel bad. I could just keep them permanently in my laptop bag, and that way I would never be without them.
A wireless keyboard. The one at the link is the one I got for myself before NaNoWriMo this year. It’s pretty nice, and I can use it to write while I exercise. Someday I might post pictures showing how I do that. Anyway, I imagine a lot of people already have bluetooth keyboards for their tablets, but you can always use a spare.
I would be remiss, though, if I didn’t remember the hand writers out there, like S. Everyone can always use a good pen. And I don’t mean fancy gold-plated things that get admired for two minutes Christmas morning and then get shoved in a drawer and forgotten because they’re too nice to use. I mean real, practical, usable pens. The kind that can be bought in bulk. Here’s S’s favorite.
Books on writing make a good present for a writer. S and I have previously mentioned My Story Can Beat Up Your Story, by Jeffrey Schechter. It offers a really valuable way to look at the structure of stories. It’s the last minute for Christmas shoppers, though, so here are links to the Nook and Kindle versions of the ebook.
And speaking of things that can be downloaded right at the very last minute, there’s Scrivener. If you don’t know what it is, it’s writing software that claims to make it easier to develop and organize your novel. We’ve never actually used it, but NaNo winners get a discount, and sooner or later I’m sure we’ll give in and buy it.
If you can’t get any of those things, or if the person you’re shopping for already has them, you could always just stop somewhere and pick up one or more of the following: chocolate, coffee, or wine. Because those are always welcome gifts at any time of year.