FOUR Things… to get your pet writer for the holidays

Do you have one of those delightfully cranky and lint-covered writers on your gift list this year? Here are 3 things… (well, four, I cheated) to get your writer.

3. A mini-laptop. I upgraded from a fancy lemon of a laptop to a notebook this year. I get a lot of questions about how I like it from my fellow students in writing. It is completely awesome. It’s very portable, cheaper than a full-on laptop, has enough juice to run Word, and store all my document files. I can browse the internet, but sometimes have a hard time with videos, which is actually perfect because I’m not supposed to be watching videos, I’m supposed to be writing. I love my notebook so much it’s become my primary machine. This is mine, I got it from Toshiba Direct.


If the writer in your life needs a computer upgrade, try one of these.

2. A gift certificate to a bookstore:Powell’s or Amazon or Barnes and Noble or your local shop.
There is a misconception that gift certificates are impersonal, but I promise a gift certificate to a bookstore will delight any writer, and will be received and used with joy. Because you’re not just giving the pleasure of a book; you’re also giving the pleasure of the book-shopping experience. It’s like double presents to us.

1. A laser printer. Oh god, a laser printer.

Because a good writer ALWAYS prints his work. A nice black-and-white laser printer will make your writer’s life. I’ve wanted one since they first came out and were uber expensive, now they seem to run about as much as a standard printer. CNET has a roundup of their favorites here.

I know two of my three mentions are pricey, so I’m throwing in this SPECIAL HONORABLE MENTION: THE ECONOMY BEING WHAT IT IS EDITION: The number one, completely free and very best gift you can give the writer in your life: free time.

At least a day. Get up early on a weekend and evacuate the house (super bonus points if you cleaned the house the day before if your writer notices and is bothered by such things, otherwise he/she may spend the time cleaning). Take the kids/dog/insanity with you. All day. Go away all day long. Come back at 7 pm with pizza (or make sandwiches). Deliver dinner to your writer, and then retreat. Put the kids/dog/insanity to bed, watch Breaking Bad by yourself until your writer emerges, bleary-eyed and strange. Your writer may be talkative, or completely silent, cheerful or crabby, and just go with the flow on that. No matter what, they ARE supremely grateful.

And there you have it, four things that’ll really stuff your writer’s stocking.