Yes, I said "dollar store." That's how low maintenance most of us writers are.
So if you've got a writer on your gift list this year, just trot on over to your local discount place. We'll adore just about anything that will make our writing lives easier.
And ... ahem! Where are you rushing off to? Don't leave without your shopping list:
1. Small, pocket-sized notebooks - We need them for those middle-of-the-night ideas.
2. A box of professional looking thank-you cards (or two). I love to send out hand-written thank-you notes to business associates, editors, friends, book-discussion group hosts, bookstore event people and others. We can never have too many of these.
3. Pens. Many. Pens. Did I mention pens?
4. Post-it notes. Many, many post-it notes--preferably in different colors and sizes. Index cards are good, too.
5. Blank journals Journals are where we do our rough sketches before the first actual draft of the essay or story or book. Plain journals are best. Artist's sketch pads work nicely, too.
6. Tea Dollar stores often have interesting boxes of teabags. Nothing gets the words flowing like a nice hot cuppa in the afternoon.
7. Goofy drinking mugs So what if they have an outdated Halloween motif? It gives us a chuckle as we tackle that stubborn draft or blank screen. Ditto for those whacky mouse pads.
8. Cheap reading glasses. Writers of a certain ... ahem ... vintage will love you for these. If you invent or include a built-in locator magnet (for the spectacles, not us!) that beeps, we'll positively adore you.
9. Pocket-sized hair combs. When we're doing a public presentation or reading, we can't schlep a bulky hairbrush around the place, but it's always nice to have something for that last little beauty check before the paparazzi roll in.
10. Packs of ear plugs. These work well when we're writing in a cafe or restaurant or the local library.