Gifts for Writers: Decluttering a Writer's Life with Tracey Kathryn
April is my birthday month. So it follows that I’d offer ideas about gifts. There are many great sources for special items including Writer’s Digest—that typewriter keyboard is a hoot—and I especially like this list from New York magazine. Who can resist those floating book shelves? The Christmas season always is a source for cute ideas, too. But I’m on a mission to declutter my office this year. I have computers that need to go, a desk that needs to be cleaned, and files that need to be tossed. Therefore, this blog post is about gifts that don’t take up space and are functional and health-related. With the theme of reducing clutter in mind, here are my ideas:
Yoga and its related goodies
Yoga will save the world. Well, I’m exaggerating, but if we all practiced meditation and stretching, we’d feel better. And probably write better, too. Stretching and breathing enhance the process of writing. Jotting thoughts after a yoga workout will improve mental health. Sure, starting a yoga-based exercise program means sore muscles, at first. And a yoga class will take time from writing, but it’s worth it. There are gift options that include mobile apps, to free videos, to retreats in faraway places. Be creative with the idea. This gift doesn’t have to be expensive. Offer to set up a writer’s phone with an app and wrap up a yoga mat. And I adore these mat wipes. Practical and fantastic!
Writing Software Training
If you’re a technical person, offer training for one of the top (or free) software programs for writers. There are many software options including Scrivener or Novelize, and this blog post provides a list of others. (In fact, I bought Hemingway Editor while writing this post. It’s my birthday, after all.) But it’s one thing to buy software, it’s another to know how to use it. Learning curves are steep. The gift angel who would provide hands-on software training would be included in the “Acknowledgements” section of my book. Sure, I could watch a tutorial, but nothing compares with a patient, in-person teacher. A cost affordable option is to create a gift card for training sessions for a program that’s already installed on your favorite writer’s computer. If the funds are available, purchase the software and provide sessions of training.
Social Media Training
Writers rarely are good marketers. An afternoon session about social media training, website creation, or LinkedIn secrets would be a great gift for a writer who needs marketing savvy. It may take persuasion to get your favorite scribe into a social media workshop, but the knowledge will be worth it when the book comes out. Throw in a bottle of bubbles to crack open, too. It serves double-duty as a birthday present plus something to open for an agent signing or a publication-release date. (Bubbles are the key to this writer’s heart, can you tell?)
Finally, theater tickets. Sometimes it’s best for a writer to get away from the keyboard. An evening enjoying fantastic writing and wonderful performances would be entertaining and inspiring. American Players Theater has an impressive list of plays to choose from this year—and this gift definitely won’t clutter anyone’s desktop. Tickets to APT are special, indeed. My favorites among this year’s calendar are Macbeth and Twelfth Night. Don’t forget “Beyond the Plays” events such as listening to music, tailgating, or attending the Play Talks beforehand.
Happy gifting—and decluttering!