Buying for the writer in your life is always a tough one. They like books, but you don’t know which ones they want or already own. You’ve already seen the massive pile of blank moleskine journals they’ve been gifted before. Yes, we can be a tricky bunch to buy for.
With this idea in mind, I decided to write a blog about gifts for writers this holiday season. What a terrible idea. One quick perusal of the inter webs and one thing became evident— this has been done… and done… and done again. In the last few days alone.
Instead, let’s talk about the gifts that will get the writer in your life off their ass and, with good luck, out of their cave of seclusion. Big neon sign: Being sedentary isn’t the best for your heart, mind, or body. You writers know what I’m talking about. We all feel it somewhere—I’ve already blogged about my disappearing derierre, and now I have a burgeoning waist to add to the beauty that is me. Thanks NaNoWriMo. More to love? No.
So here is my list of what to get the writer in your life, so they stop complaining about their physical ailments and keep on task with what they should be doing— writing. Check out the links, because I’m not in the mood to be sued for copyright infringement.
1. A Standing Desk. As writers, we sit most of the day, and no matter how comfy our favorite chair is, a change of position from sitting to standing is warranted. The thought of leaving our natural environment may cause the failing of arms and stomping of feet, unless executed flawlessly and we don’t notice you’re the mastermind behind our mobility. There are a couple ways you can go about this.
First, if you are the consumer type, this bamboo marvel of craftsmanship may blind your writer friend with its streamlined look but natural elements, creating the unexplainable urge to leave their seat and stand at its awe-worthy magnificence. Bonus, it’s a one and done with your holiday shopping. Second, if you are the half consumer half diy aficionado type, converting a standard height desk with additional accoutrements might appeal to the creative side of your writer. This is the expensive way. This is the cheap way. Just consider your writer’s personality— not yours—when building it because they might prefer an all DIY cutie. Cough. Cough.
Remember, this is a secondary retreat for your writer. The only requirement is that you don’t get pouty when they don’t use it at all times. It isn’t meant to replace their favorite writing spot, just offer a healthy alternative area to create.
2. A foot warmer mat. This speaks for itself. You may need two if you move forward with gift number one. We writers aren’t unplugging and carrying anything we don’t write with or drink.
3. A timer. If you can’t afford number one, are not inclined to build it, or your writer just isn’t worth the hassle, this is an option. Writers get lost in their worlds. We’re not lazy, we just forget to get up and move. A timer is the perfect reminder, and we need reminders with all the thinking we do. There are many choices, however, be forewarned, we will read into the type of timer you buy us. There are many aimed at the streamlined minimalist type, but may I suggest this grumpy black cat who clearly has no time for you. If you buy this, we will know that you understand our inner soul animal.
Many writers are geeks at heart and proud of it. Going with R2D2 or a timer reminiscent of the original Batman television program tells us you appreciate our quirkiness. However, being passive aggressive is never the answer. See here. You buy this and you will be killed off in their next novel. Dead.
Whatever you do, beware of this wolf in bird clothing whose true function, I can only imagine, is to remind us to check our Twitter. Writers don’t need help getting distracted, we do that just fine on our own.
4. Give the gift of yoga. This can come in the form of DVDs for home use or gift certificates to a locally owned yoga studio. Make sure to include lots of yoga gadgets. Writers love gadgets. For inspiration that has a literary twist, you may want to purchase this Yoga For Writers poster by Electric Literature. Visual reminders are always a good idea– That’s why we hang all those maps, sticky notes, and inspirational quotes in our writing area. Seeing that poster might cause us to stand and try some of the moves out.
5. If you buy a writer this messenger bag, they might actually get up and leave the house. I know, but don’t get too excited. Just realize that the exercise potential is limited, because in essence they are taking the bag on a field trip to go sit in an alternative location. Yes, it takes energy to transport from one place to another, but it is short lived.
6. One way of extending a writer’s foray into society is to purchase gift cards to local indie bookstores. One of our favorite sports is supporting local artists and business owners. Being in a bookstore will call to our innate perusal instincts and we will be on our feet, walking no less. Sneaky gift selection. Nice job.
7. Gift cards to locally owned coffee houses and cafes will also create more exercise in a writer’s life. Plus, we need somewhere to take our new messenger bag on its promised field trip. Warning: We will sit down somewhere in that building.
8. Buy a Fitbit or similar device and here’s why: When a writer sees just how little they are moving throughout the day, they may be motivated up their number of footsteps. Tell them it’s like NaNoWriMo but for their feet. They’ll get it. Hey, if we are out taking our new messenger bag for a walk, we want credit for it plus instant gratification of seeing our steps climb in number. Now if only we could get gifts and prizes from it like NaNo…
9. This Edgar Allen Poe lunch box. To use it, your writer friend has to leave the house, right? No guarantees on that one I’m afraid. Writers might just use it as a vessel in which we store our food at our desk. If only there was a Jane Austen one…
10. The gift of massage. And by gift, I mean a gift certificate to a professional establishment. Writer’s have a myriad of aches and pains that come from sitting for hours at a stretch. Even if you manage to make us move by using any of the nine ideas above, a massage would be bliss. None of your homemade second-grade Mother’s Day certificates either. Plus, if you aren’t the writer’s significant other, that makes you a creeper. Don’t be a creeper.
On behalf of all the writers in your life, thank you for caring about us so much. We may shut ourselves away for hours at a time, but we aren’t scrooges at heart and we do want to celebrate with you. Remember, you can always resort to luring us away from our desk with the writer’s trifecta: coffee, chocolate, and wine. We’ll come out every time. Okay, perhaps some bourbon spiked eggnog as well.