Look no further!
Our wonderful guest bloggers (aka gift elves) have joined us to share their favorite writing, illustrating or book must-haves.
You’ll find serious and practical suggestions our guest bloggers use daily, as well as fun and whimsical items that bring joy and offer motivation.
Peruse and enjoy our 2021 Writer’s Holiday Wish List! (Then maybe forward it to your favorite shopping elf!)
Something I find helpful in keeping book projects organized is reusing my kid’s old school binders. Apparently I still cling to traditional paper: manuscript drafts, character sketches, rough dummy art - and the extra pockets are great for storing a gazillion scraps used to jot down quick ideas.
I use the binder to file the notes taken during calls with editors and art directors, and I also hand-write revision comments from an email onto paper. The process helps me remember all I need to do, and I’ll admit I enjoy the dopamine rush of crossing off accomplished tasks!
Be a friend and buy the disorderly writer in your life a snazzy binder!
For over the past decade I’ve been writing in a “One Line a Day” journal. As a writer, I know the importance of journaling, but also the importance of time. This takes minutes each day, yet the result at the end of the year is profound. A true treasure for those that appreciate the art of taking pen to paper.
I tend to do my best writing in the morning, so having the right coffee mug is key. This positively perfect one is just the right size (large, of course) - and sends just the right message. In an industry where patience and persistence are needed in spades, I find it helpful to start each day with a deep breath, a big sip, and a lot of hope. Another bonus: I bought this mug from CauseTeam as part of a fundraiser for a community nonprofit, so the good vibes just keep coming!
Being an old-school writer, I like to have wide-ruled paper and pen in hand, as well as hot tea next to me on my desk. And nothing pleases me more than a composition notebook! My favorite notebook pattern is available in key rings, S’well bottles, mugs and more through Out of Print! Collect them all! And my go-to pen remains Pilot’s Precise V7 roller ball. Worth every penny.
Francine Puckly writes young adult contemporary and historical fiction. Her first book, The Word-a-Day Vocabulary Workbook, is an entertaining nonfiction blend of 365 obscure words, amusing word trivia, and thought-provoking daily writing prompts. Find out more here.
Find out more at https://www.amandadavisart.com/
Sarah Jane Abbott:
I'm a very distractible person who happens to live on a loud, busy road and has a partner who plays video games near my desk on his days off. So I was excited this year to discover Loop earplugs. They are specifically made to reduce noise by 20 decibels (or 27, depending on which model you choose), so they muffle sound around you, but still allow you to hear important things, like your door buzzer or someone trying to talk to you. Plus, they come in a variety of pretty colors and actually look nice, not like the traffic-cone orange foam ones I used to use. They come in a hard carrying case too. I have a set in each of my purses, coat pockets, and work areas.
I do almost all of my writing on a computer, but when it's time to make revision notes on a printed draft, I love the scritch-scratch of a nice sharp pencil. When those revision moments need a little inspiration, a moment of humor, or a quick distraction, these fun writer themed pencils never disappoint. I love to grab the pencils at random and see what advice they have. I'm particularly fond of the pencil that suggests that I "Add A Vampire"!
Nancy Tupper Ling:
I know. I know. Everyone has a favorite journal, so why am I mentioning one more? Well, my daughter, Sarah, picked this one out for my birthday this year, and I LOVE it. It’s called a Jour Voyager Notebook, made by Peter Pauper Company. It has three different inserts/sections, which works great. I keep my daily “To Do” list in one, my story ideas in another, and the last is for meeting notes. It’s easy to refill them, too.
BUT wait! That’s not all. I’ve paired my notebook with this handy-dandy Paperang, which my former library director introduced me to one day. This mini-printer creates stickers from your photos or lists, making your notebook into a scrapbook. The Paperang has come down in price, now selling for about $34 online if you shop around. Of course, you’ll need to purchase the special printer paper as well, but I buy the 6-pack and that lasts for quite some time. See how fun!
Okay, so this first one might seem strange, but I cannot write without my super cute cat door. Not only do I love the look of tiny hobbit holes around my home, but it solves this scenario: I sit down to write and get into the groove. Skippy cat decides she must be with me and starts to eat the closed door to my office. (I'm not joking. She eats our doors.) I get up, open the door, let her in, and go back to writing. A kid yells at me to close the door because they are in zoom school and I'm typing too loud. I get up and close the door. As soon as I get settled back in my chair, Skippy decides she must leave the office NOW. I let her out. And ... repeat. All. Day. Long. Until I installed the Purrfect Portal cat door on my office door. Skippy now comes and goes as she pleases. It has a locking feature, in case I ever wanted to go against Skippy's wishes. (I really NEVER do. She knows where I sleep.)
The other thing I love is my Projects Planner notebook. It's like a bullet journal but designed to keep tabs on multiple projects at once. Once a task or project has a page in my Projects Planner, it WILL get done! It's my pensieve: I put in it all the details of all kinds of projects no matter whether they are writing projects, a new collaboration, a Writers' Loft event, or all the stuff I need to do for family Thanksgiving. Definitely on my shortlist of things I can't work without.
Find out more about Heather at www.heatherkellyauthor.com
Her website is kristenwixted.com
Annie Cronin Romano:
So many projects. So little space. Rolling file cart to the rescue! While most projects live in files on my laptop, I prefer to do edits and final read-throughs using hard copies. This rolling file (by Lorell) provides extra hanging file space for manuscripts and notes, and the wheels allow me to roll it out of the way when company comes. It also houses my idea notebooks, and the bottom shelf holds office supplies (and a small portion of my to-be-read pile).
The thing with the "Butt-in-Chair" philosophy of writing is that our butts are physically in chairs for extended periods of time. Which might not be the healthiest option for our butts (and lower backs and hip flexors.) This year my husband gifted me with a Flexispot standing desk. I love the flexibly to keep working while stretching my legs. It even comes with an optional timer that will remind you to stand after long periods of sitting.
An art print from a favorite illustrator makes for a wonderfully whimsical gift. I adore my prints. They bring me joy on a daily basis and make me feel connected to the other creatives in the industry. When you give a print you are not only cheering on the writer in your life, but you are also supporting an illustrator. Most illustrators have a link to their Etsy shop on their websites.
Let's be honest. We don't always need more stuff. Often an experience or thoughtful donation to a bookish cause will warm the cockles of a writer's heart more than any physical object. Consider giving a yearly membership to a local writing organization or community such as the Writer's Loft, a craft related online course or workshop, or an SCBWI-membership. Or perhaps donate towards a worthy organization, such as Little Book Locker, in the name of the writer in your life, and let them know.