Inspiring Christmas Gifts for Writers and Readers

by Guest Blogger November 29, 2010

[I] have been inspired this year by a children's church series focused on joy and by having three young children to slow down and ruminate on the many wonders of this season. As we put up our tree this last weekend, my six-year-old son said, "I wish that Christmas was every day and then we'd get toys every day." That would indeed be wonderful, but I was also reminded that December goes by fast (at least for us adults), and Christmas has a tendency to come and go before we know it. This morning, I am savoring a cup of coffee and the smell of our Christmas and thinking over our gift list. I was inspired to think about some gifts that may be especially good for writers and readers.
  • Ruminate Subscription. Of course this is first on the list! If you have a writer or reader in your life who hasn't discovered Ruminate yet, consider buying them a subscription. They will be blessed and inspired all year long. Ruminate also sells an art print with a list of things writers rely on--they can hang it above their desk!
  • A notebook or journal. While I prefer to write on my computer, I use notebooks and journals throughout the year. A beautiful book to write in can be used in many ways to record new story ideas, get poems started, or just to jump start a writing session with a good old "mind dump."
  • A set of notecards. Getting and sending a note in the mail, handwritten, is a rarity. Logophiles of all sorts will enjoy having a special set of cards to use for all occasions with friends and to share little bits of writing.
  • Music to write by. When I'm really in the writing zone, I often have headphones on and an album playing over and over again. Depending on the gift receivers’ music and listening preference, they may enjoy an album purchased for them on iTunes or a CD.
  • A special pen. Writing on the computer is fast, but writing with a pen and paper seems to use a different part of the brain, inspiring new work. And a new pen makes that process all the more enjoyable and fun, begging us to stop and savor the feeling of writing.
  • A good book. So many options! You can purchase a book to inspire, to give a writer a break from her own work or to study the work of others, and just to give pleasure. If a writer or reader in your life has an especially adored author, and you have the funds available, a first edition book is an absolute treat to receive and treasure.
  • The gift of time. One of the most difficult things for writers, especially if they have other jobs or children or obligations (probably most of us), is just finding the time and energy to write. You might find a way to give a writer the gift of time to write - offer to look after the kids at a regular time or take over a household duty (a chore or bed time for the kids) - and encourage the writer to take that time to write. Other ways to give writers time may be to offer to read a writer's piece and give him feedback or, if you're an established writer, offering to mentor another writer.
  • A writing  workshop. Many editors offer writing critiques or workshops, and you can often order a gift certificate. This can be a great way to get feedback or move forward on a writing project. (The Ruminate editors offer critique sessions here.)
My hope is that these ideas inspire you in this giving season as you consider the writers and readers in your life. What other gifts have you received or given that inspired you to write and read? Many blessings to you and yours!


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