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What to give your writer for Christmas

Budget and deluxe options for the writer in your life

There they are, tapping away at their keyboard, haven't spoken to you for days, except to ask for a synonym. How are you supposed to know what they want for Christmas? Fret no longer, writer's friend, here's their Christmas list.

Time. Sweet, precious empty time with nothing in it but whatever words they can make.

Budget option: go out all day and take all the chores with you.

Lux option: provide them with a second income and a writing cabin with a wood stove and their favourite wilderness view, and probably better throw in a butler.

Material. Food for their creative brains.

Budget option: Keep doing and saying surprising and also ill-advised and ideally mildly perilous things.

Lux option: Send them on an all-expenses paid adventure tailored to their genre – not recommended for horror writers.

Attention. Don't interrupt them, read their stuff and if possible become a massive fan.

Budget option: read everything they write and review it online and tell all of your friends about it also strangers on the bus.

Lux option: get them a publishing deal, an international marketing campaign and write their name on the moon with lasers.

Notebooks. There can never be too many.

Budget option: cut up their abandoned manuscripts so they don’t have to.

Lux: provide the one too beautiful to besmirch until they believe their writing to be worthy of it but lovely to stroke in the meantime.

Books. To read, silly.

Budget option: rummage about in their piles of unread books and present them with one they’ve forgotten they bought. Lux option: Give them Waterstones.

Socks. Everybody needs socks, especially snuggly ones and especially writers who mainly stay indoors and don’t move about much.

Things to avoid

Advice. We have enough, thank you.

Things that tell you that you’ll know you’re a writer when. We can make our own self-doubt, thank you.

Novelty book themed stuff that might have been a book. Unless it's a mug. We drink a lot of tea / coffee / cheeky snifters.Thank you.

Happy shopping, writer's friend. I'll be watching the moon.

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