Thursday, 3 December 2015

Gifts for Writers, Christmas 2015

This is the last in my Christmas gift ideas post, but by no means least!

Buying for a reader or a knitter is probably easier than buying for a writer simply because there is so much to choose from. When it comes to buying for a writer, you can feel fairly limited - what might they want beyond a notebook?

Step away from the notebooks. Trust me, we have enough (and yet we keep buying them ourselves!). This year, try something a little bit different...

The first Christmas Rich and I had together, he bought me a 1960s typewriter and it is one of my most treasured possessions. Not only do typewriters look lovely in the home, but they are also useful. When Rich and I lived apart - and now that we are living apart again - my typewriter got lots of use writing him letters. I even type up little blurbs for my stories on it.

There is something magical about a typewriter - the clatter of the keys, the romanticism of all the writers who used them in years past. When I was tiny, I used to write stories on my Nan's old typewriter. They are things of beauty in their own right and you can't just pick one up in any old store. A writer will know and appreciate the fact that you had to hunt for one.

Pens - and pencils! - are really important tools for writers. I always have one in my bag (with a notebook - ha!) because I much prefer hand writing my ideas to tapping them into a phone.

But you needn't be boring when it comes to pens. You could buy a really stunning set that would last for years from a company like Waterman. It would definitely be an investment piece, but who wouldn't be inspired to write with something so gorgeous?

Alternatively, there is always the vintage route. I love coming across pens and inkpots in junk/charity/antique shops or even boot sales. Even if they don't always work, I love to wonder who used them, what they have written. One day, when I have the space, I would to have some interesting vintage pens and pots on my desk. A girl can dream, right?

I find it really hard to concentrate when everything is in a mess - my brain keeps telling me I should be tidying instead! So clutter free gifts can be a godsend.

Clutter-free means your imagination can go wild! You could go the DIY route and create a gift voucher for a tidy desk, an hour's quiet and undisturbed writing time or a week of lunches provided to the hard-working writer. While these don't break the bank by any means, they are incredibly thoughtful and I would be touched to receive one. Sometimes it's just nice to have something that is important to you acknowledged as important to someone else.

If you're looking to give a more substantial clutter free gift, a massage is always a good idea. We spend a lot of time hunched over keyboards and I am personally a big fan of the sports massage. I know that the clinic I work in offers gift vouchers and a discount if you buy three, so it's always worth asking if there are any offers available.

I couldn't write a writer's gift post without the big one, could I? A writer's retreat or a residential writer's course would be a brilliant gift. A lot of writer's struggle to find the time and headspace to write in, so something like this would be a wonderful kickstart for them. While there are plenty around, The Arvon Foundation is the one I've been eyeballing for myself.

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