Friday, April 26, 2013

W - What Not to Buy for Writers


You might know a writer. If so, you might be able to pry them away from the keyboard long enough to tell you their birthday or get them to sing a Christmas carol or something. But that might be about it. You won’t know what to get them Well, fear not. Writers are easy enough to appease. But here are the list of the top five things you should NOT get your writer friends.

(Note: This is meant to be slightly humorous. Take with a grain f salt and call me in the morning.)

5: Pencils: Pencils are evil. Unless your writer asks for pencils, just back away.

4: A desk set: It’s not going to get used. Sorry. I don’t want an audience while I’m writing. If you want to get them a desk set, don’t do it because you think that a writer should like it. We won’t

3: Nice pens: We’ll just use them and either destroy them or never buy refills, then feel guilty whenever we use another pen around you.

2: Notebooks: It’s a really nice gesture. I mean it. It is. But I’ve never met a writer without blank notebooks. We just don’t get around to filling them very quickly. I once got a bunch of half-used notebooks. Like, twenty or more. I gave away half of them, lost half of what I had left, and that still lasted me several years. The problem is that we by ourselves, and everyone buys them for us. We really don’t need them.

1: A fancy notebook: Just stop. Step away from the leather bound notebook. It’s expensive and we really aren’t going to use it. There’s some strange combination of already having way too many notebooks we aren’t using and a general reverence for nice books that makes it impossible to mark one. If you’re set on the idea, then go to the juvenile section, pick us up something with, like, Harry Potter stuff on it, or Katniss Everdeen. Something nerdy is always good—we wont’ feel so bad wrecking it.

Happy hunting,
Voss


3 comments :

Misha Gericke said...

I disagree with the last two. And almost with the nice pen.

Authors who hand-draft never have enough note-books. So I think the better version is to ask if the writer hand-drafts. BUT. NEVER buy a hand-drafting authors notebooks much bigger or smaller than A5. Also, never thinner than 100 pages. But then, I'm fussy like that. Unless it has a reaaallly pretty cover. But I never know what to do with those...

And as for pens, hand-drafting authors usually buy themselves a nice one eventually, because writing with a bad pen is murder. BUT. Always make sure to buy the writer the pen he/she wants. I want metal fountain pens (preferably with black cartridges). Metal because I break plastic ones due to over-use. And black because any other color makes me antsy.

So I think the lesson here is to remember that all writers are at least a little insane, so the gifts we expect won't necessarily be normal. ;-)

Voss Foster said...

Valid point. I tend to forget that some people still work longhand. Mostly because it gives me hives to have to write it and then transfer it into a computer file to send to a publisher.

And, personally, even when I wrote longhand, I hate nice pens. Even metal pens got destroyed, I was so hard on them...and, you know, I lost them everywhere. My favorites were pens I found dropped in hallways. They always felt like they had a story behind them.

Voss

J Keith said...

I don't know about the pencil and notebook thing. I love pencils. I also love notebooks. I don't use them but I like to look at them unused and imagine I will use them one day. I also have to have enough pencils lying around my house to have one handy at all times.