Yes, I heard the collective groan. I know it’s only November, but I have it on good authority that December will follow shortly after. Which is why I started my Christmas shopping last month, before the stores became a sea of chaos.* Normally I love chaos, but I dislike taking a stranger’s elbow to the spleen in the chocolate aisle.
Anyway, I’m here to help. Writers can be hard to shop for. Here’s a list of some of the must have items for this (or any other) year:
More Words: Anyone doing a large writing project** will appreciate this, because after you cross a certain threshold, the words start to run out. I personally notice it around the 2,000 words/day mark. Spending all those words on writing means I have far fewer left for things like email, IM, or conversation. Communication may be reduced to grunting. So when I’m doing 3,000 words/day, as I am now…let’s just say this is a gift that keeps on giving.
Books: This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are two sorts that are the best gifts. One, really good books that encourage us to write to a higher level***, and two, really shitty ones that make us exclaim, “This word abortion got published?” One of each makes an amusing dichotomy.
Patience: Because, goddamnit, that stupid selfish manuscript did not finish itself while I was sleeping last night. What the fuck is up with that? And I’ve still got to get through all this boring crap before I can write that big fight scene.
…You know what? Let’s consider this a gift for both of us.
Caffeine: Because, since the manuscript didn’t finish itself, now I have to do it. Which means I need to put a wooden block under my brain’s brake pedal.
Ink Cartridges: Do you know how much ink it takes to print off a novel manuscript?
Reproductive Organs of Mental Fortitude: In guys, this is commonly known as balls. For ladies, I’ve decided to coin the term “battle ovaries”. Whichever kind you’ve got****, learn to holster them up, because there’s still a lot of hard work ahead after the holidays have passed. So get in there and sound off like you got a pair. A pair of what is up to you.
*Point of fact: I actually do most of my shopping online these days. It comes right to my door (or someone else’s) and half the time comes gift-wrapped. I love that shit. It leaves me more time to get on with the important parts of the holiday season, like drinking and watching James Bond movies.
***Or fall into a pit of despair. Either way.
****If you have both, you’re ahead of the game.