I got this idea from Jennifer K’s blog, which I follow. She has five great ideas. I’ll add a couple more.
My top gift ideas for writers?
1. Housecleaning! Because how can I justify sitting here, writing, when my house is so dusty? When it badly needs vacuumed? The kitchen! The bathrooms!
2. Another book. Okay, you already know that I would spend my last dollar on a book. In part, it’s avoidance, one of my escape hatches from writing. But there are a number of books that every writer really should have in her arsenal. I won’t try to do justice to this, but for a personal recommendation–if your giftee is writing a novel–I recommend The Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson. I’ve read this book twice, but I’m not recommending it in order to straighten out a plot, but for the thinking Alderson has done around how the energy in stories work, and how to drive that energy better.
3. And besides practical (though inspiring) books, there are purely inspiring books. Of course there’s The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. But I’d like to recommend a simpler book, The Circle by Laura Day. A similar book that I have read (and worked through) multiple times is Sonia Choquette’s Your Heart’s Desire. These books may sound flaky and new-age, but they helped me figure out what exactly it is that I want, and taught me how to start framing those desires not as “wants” but actively. Not I want to be a writer, but I AM A WRITER. In other words, as Choquette says, if you are telling yourself “I want, I want, I want,” what you get is more wanting. Books like Day’s and Choquette’s can help you untangle and aim your journal-writing practice, too.