From Kate's Writing Crate…
If you're looking for some gift suggestions for writers you know or for yourself, here are some of my favorites:
Writers need time to write so ask family members for 30- or 60-minute Time-to-Write coupons. Redeem the coupons by posting them where you write and listing a start time.
A timer to get yourself writing quickly. Works great with the Time-to-Write coupons!
Mascots to keep you company in your Writers' Crates. A gift of a stuffed dragon became my first mascot. I also have two small plastic dragons on my computer tower that make me laugh. They have such disapproving faces and body language that I feel compelled to keep writing whenever I stop and they catch my eye. I also have a deep blue solid glass turtle with a smooth shell that I hold sometimes when I am considering what to write next.
Quote posters and large quote transfer stickers to decorate the walls of your Writers' Crates. I love the "You're A Writer" mantra available at www.kmweiland.com. (Cheryl discovered this gem.)
Cheap notebooks so you feel free to write anything in them. Filling one a month, as recommended by Natalie Goldberg in Writing Down the Bones, is a great way to keep you writing on a regular basis.
InkJoy pens come in bright, assorted colors. The ink does glob a bit, but they're cheerful, fun, and especially helpful when you don't feel like writing. Pilot V-Ball fine point pens are excellent everyday pens. (Not paid endorsements.)
Blank journals to use as common books where you copy down inspiring quotes and passages written by other writers or to record your Six-Word Memoirs—they're great warm-up writing exercises. Search Six-Word Memoirs online for details or buy the Six-Word Memoirs books.
For book suggestions, I recommend all the books I wrote about in the Masterclasses and Reads for Writers categories on this blog as well as the 16 I listed in my post on 12/17/12. However, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott, and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield are hard to top. If I'd discovered/been given just those three books when I first decided to become a writer, I'd have felt invincible. In her first book, Goldberg reveals how to start living a writer's life with practical ideas and prompts. Lamott shows you the good, the bad, the funny, and the tough aspects of living a successful as well as a published writer's life. Pressfield keeps you writing with his advice and experiences on fighting through Resistance. There are no excuses not to finish your projects. It's a book I refer to whenever I feel myself faltering.
As I think every writer should blog, I recommend Are You There Blog? It's Me, Writer by Kristen Lamb and Publishing a Blog with Blogger, second edition, by Elizabeth Castro (reviewed on 9/2/13).
I'd specifically recommend Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar (and her best seller Wild) by Cheryl Strayed (reviewed on 1/28/13) and Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir by Beth Kephart (reviewed on 8/26/13) as each author has a strong, unique voice that resonates with readers. I aspire to reach as deeply within myself and write from that place.