Low-Cost Gift Ideas for the Writers in Your Life

(Psst: Most can be bought at your local dollar store)

Got a writer on your gift list this year? Just trot on over to your local discount place.

Here are some items for your shopping list:

1. Small, pocket-sized notebooks . We need them for those middle-of-the-night or stuck-on-a-train ideas.

2. Boxes of thank-you cards. I love to send out hand-written thank-you notes to editors, friends, book-discussion group hosts, bookstore event people and others. We can never have too many of thank-you cards.

3. Pens. Many, many pens. Yes, even in this digital age, many of us love to hand-write our drafts. Oh, and highlighters.

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. Hard-cover, plain journals are best. Artist’s sketch pads work nicely, too.

6. Tea. Oddly, dollar stores often have interesting flavors of tea. Nothing gets the words flowing like a nice hot cuppa in these dull winter afternoons.

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 Goofy drinking mugs So what if they have an outdated Halloween motif?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 off-season 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 (for the spectacles, not us!) that beeps, we’ll positively adore you.

9. A pocket-sized hair comb. 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.

Originally published at http://www.ainegreaney.com.

Irish author, workshop leader in Boston area. Fifth book, “Green and Other Essays” just released. More at www.ainegreaney.com

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