Authors Answer 7 – Christmas Gifts for Authors

Less than a week until Christmas, and I’m sure everyone is getting excited to see what they got.  Or more importantly, they’re excited about spending time with their families.  I’ll be spending my Christmas at home with my wife and daughter, and we’ll be having a Christmas dinner consisting of Kentucky Fried Chicken, a fine modern Japanese tradition.  But what do authors want for Christmas?

2002_Blue_Room_Christmas_treeQuestion 7: Christmas is coming! In your opinion, what would be the perfect gift for a writer?

Michael J. Sullivan

Oh writers are so easy to buy for when it comes to gift giving. Some things off the top of my head:

  • Moleskine notebooks – No, I don’t mean notebooks made out of small, blind rodents. These are bound blank pages with an elastic band to hold them closed. Each time I start a new book I buy one. It keeps all my notes in one place before I start writing. You can expect to pay $8 to $12 for one.
  • Software – I highly recommend Grammarly. A program sold through a subscription model. If the writer in your life is already using it, extend their subscription.  If they aren’t, start them off with a few months, the length of which can be tailored to your budget. My subscription is $11.66 a month, but that’s because I bought a full year. Shorter subscriptions are a bit more per month.  Another “must have” tool is Scrivener. It’s an amazing program for writing books. It runs $40 and is a bargain at three times the price. This program has revolutionized how I write books, and I couldn’t imagine going back to writing in something like Microsoft Word after using it.  There are separate versions for Windows and the Mac.
  • Books on Writing – If the writer in your life hasn’t read Stephen King’s On Writing, it’s definitely something to get for them. The retail price is $16, and Amazon has it for sale at $10 and change.  If they have read it (and many have), then I’ll suggest The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker.  It’s a modern-day version of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, which is starting to show its age. I found this new book both entertaining and educational.

S. R. Carrillo

Honestly, I’m not a high maintenance kinda person. I don’t need much – just time to spend with my family back home and time to catch up on reading and just writing and relaxing. Which I am getting this year! So yay!

H. Anthe Davis

Time, heh.  Barring that, coffee.

Paul B. Spence

A movie deal would be nice.  Otherwise, I’m partial to gingerbread cookies and 28mm models.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

There are lots of things I could think of…for someone who doesn’t already have it, I’d definitely suggest a copy of the Scrivener writing software because it makes life so much easier and more organized. For myself? Well, I wouldn’t at all mind a new laptop, or even something smaller and more portable like a netbook, so that I can write on the go without having to write by hand, which is so much slower for me!

Amy Morris-Jones

TIME! If I could ask Santa for one gift, it would be more time to write. As a wife, mother, and full-time employee, sitting down to write feels self-indulgent. I would love to have a weekend away somewhere—maybe a boring hotel room or a writer’s retreat in a scenic location—where I could just focus on my writing without having to feel guilty. Think Santa could fit that in his bag?

D. T. Nova

It’s unlikely that this would happen, but a professionally done book cover would be a pretty great thing to receive as a gift.

Most writers also read more than the average person, so a book that’s hard to find for one reason or another would be a good one too.

Jean Davis

Uninterrupted time, or if Walmart is out of that, a clone would be most welcome. If either of those isn’t an option, someone to cook and clean the house. When I do get time to get lost in writing, I forget to eat and nothing else gets done.

Caren Rich

Time and space or a new laptop.  I think we sometimes get bogged down with all the new toys available to us.  They’re great and all, not that I have anything more advanced than Word.  But I think most writer’s would like to have time to write without feeling guilty about ignoring the responsibilities that are trying to crush them.  I know that’s what I want.  Space runs a close second.  I live in a cracker jack box, the only space I have is the kitchen table.  Hey, it works, as long as the kids are not home and my husband’s not trying to read over my shoulder as I write.  So, time and space would be the best Christmas present for a writer.  Unless, you have a week escape to the beach, then I say “I’ll pack”.

Elizabeth Rhodes

There is no “perfect gift” for every writer.  Writing is a personal endeavor and each has their own needs, method, and thought processes.  If you want to get something perfect for the writer in your life, take a good look at how they write (assuming they’ll let you.)  Do they prefer a pen and paper or prefer to type?  Can they write in any setting, or do they need silence?  Or do they have a preference for background music?  Do they like to keep drinks or snacks on hand while they’re working?  Failing that, there’s no harm in asking what they’d like.

Linda G. Hill

Continues to be off this month.

Jay Dee Archer

In a fantasy world, incredible editing abilities, artistic abilities for making cover art, and an isolation chamber that blocks out all bothersome noise and interruptions.  I don’t think we can get those, though.

In reality, this is what I want:

  • A desk and chair.  I want to sit comfortably at my computer so I can write.  My current situation isn’t ideal for that.
  • Good pens.  That’s right, I want some good pens that don’t stop working on me.  I have bad luck with that. Anyone know of some good, but cheap pens?  And what’s better, ball point or gel?
  • Graphics software.  I want something good that I can use to edit my maps and any art I do for both my website and novels.
  • Writing software.  I keep hearing about Scrivener, but I’ve never used it.  I currently use Microsoft Word.  I’m curious about it.

Of course, the biggest thing I’d like to have is time.  I think that’s what everyone wants.

How about you?

What do you want for Christmas?  If you’re a writer, is there anything special you suggest for other writers? Leave a comment below with your suggestions.

Also, can anyone tell me where the Christmas tree picture was taken? It’s easy.


14 thoughts on “Authors Answer 7 – Christmas Gifts for Authors”

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  1. Reblogged this on The War of Memory Project and commented:
    My holiday request is pretty simple, heh. Probably because all the work I do is either on the computer or on random scrap-paper when I’m at the Day Job. I don’t use organizing software either — don’t find it useful for my methods. But every writer is different, and it’s interesting to see what others do!

  2. Jay! For graphics, I recommend GIMP 2! It’s free and just as useful as Photoshop, with lots of people making identical brushes for both. I made all my maps in it, and edit together all my random art with it too.

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