Looking for the perfect gift for the writer in your family? Here are some of my favorite ideas. (Pssst... writers... share this with your loved ones and let them know which one's you want most!)
1. COFFEE HOUSE GIFT CERTIFICATES: Most every writer I know thrives on their favorite beverage and needs a hot cuppa-something close at hand. Whether your in-house writer is the drive-through/carry out type or the sit-for-an-afternoon-and-muse personality, this is the gift that will fit any price range.
2. WRITING JOURNAL AND SPECIAL PEN: For him, be on the lookout for a finely wrought leather-bound journal and a man-sized luxury pen with a good weight. Amazon has an entire gift section devoted to some of the best here. My favorite has always been the Mont Blanc, but there are many fine brands. For her, find something beautiful or fun. Papyrus has this exquisite silver filigree journal with metal closures, or go for a SMASH Book if she is quirky and a bit scattered. (See the fun , or look at bundles on Amazon here). For her pen, go lightweight and slender, colorful, and rich.
3. SCRIVENER SOFTWARE: Costs only $45 (as of this writing) and is a helpful tool for writers who need to brainstorm, take lots of notes, and reorganize their thoughts. Scrivener keeps all their bits and pieces in one place, Scrivener will help your writer finish sooner and better. Learn more here.
4. VALUABLE BOOKS: Check out some of these books as gifts for your writer in progress including my own 7 Easy Steps to Professionally Self Publish Your Book Using Lightning Source or IngramSpark (my website or Amazon) or try one of these often recommended favorites: Children's Writing Word Book (appropriate children's vocabulary by age level); GMC: Goal, Motivation, & Conflict; Writing from Within: A Guide to Creativity and Life Story Writing by Bernard Selling; Call of the Writer's Craft by Tom Bird.
5. KINDLE FORMATTING PACKAGE: Has your writer progressed to the publishing stage? Are they ready to go digital? Fix them up with a professional formatting package designed to help them avoid all the noobie fopaws. Contact me here.
6. PORTABLE LAPTOP: Writers seem to use up computers like water. Make them smile with a portable they can carry with them wherever they like to write. While my favorites are all Mac-based, whether an iPad, Air Book, or Macbook Pro, there are some nice alternatives for PC users ranging from the low-priced Chrome book to the Surface Pro.
7. SEDONA WEEKEND RETREAT: If you really want to give the box ripper this Christmas, wrap up one of the Tom Bird Write Your Book in a Weekend retreats. Price discounts abound this time of the year (call for the best pricing), and other locations are available throughout the year.
8. JUMPSTART YOUR BOO in 2015: Looking for a writing package that is a little more affordable? Pat Matson and I are offering a write-your-book program. If your writer has been procrastinating about writing that book they keep talking about, this is the gift for them. (More details here.)
9. CHILDRENS ILLUSTRATIONS: If your writer is working on a book for kids, but isn't artistically minded, consider gifting them with a package from Mike Motz. With a stable of artists to pull from, the Motz art is sure to please any taste.
10. GHOSTWRITING: Some people recognize that they are NEVER going to find time to write that valuable guide that would not only add to their bottom line, but also add to their expertise while also providing added value to their clients. Check out the services offered by Pat's Write Mind and offer a gift that will keep giving. Pat… and her write mind… focuses her brilliant insight providing written things from newsletters and autoresponders to books that engages, educates, and motivates the readership of coaching and entrepreneurial clients. You can learn more here.
11. RESEARCH TRIP: Plan a trip to that place your writer has been researching online for months. A few days in person will clear up much of their writer's block and pour enthusiasm into their work. Make sure they have plenty of time to explore those important back corners and to experience those spots they have been writing about the most.
12. PRINT BOOK PACKAGE: Is your writer ready to take the plunge into the print book arena? My fifteen plus years of experience in guiding writers through the manuscript to book process in seven easy steps will put their mind at ease, especially if they are not tech savvy or simply don't have the time to do it themselves. Contact me here.
LOOKING FOR FREE STUFF?
A QUIET WEEKEND with no kids-pets-inlaws or other distractions. Give them what they possibly need most… TIME to actual put pen to paper (or finger to keys). Make sure the no-distraction rule holds firm and you will be the hero/heroine of the day.
Q&A CALL: Let your budding author know that if they have questions about publishing, they can talk to me for up to 30 minutes for free. I will answer their questions and help them make sense of all the conflicting information available "out there" on the web. Book a call here.
READ THEIR WIP: Offer to sit down and read their work in progress (WIP). Remember to offer positive feedback and encouragement along with any questions you may have. Keep in mind that the first draft is always a little shaky. Smile a lot. Be sincerely interested. It just might be the most valuable gift you give.
Other ideas? Add them in the comments below.