These damn things are always popping up, especially around holidays: helpful guides so YOU, gentle reader, can help your favourite writer! Because, apparently, just buying our books aren’t enough–now you have to “like” our pages, follow our pins, review everything we’ve written (ALWAYS with five stars), blog, digg, tweet, stumble, and foist our books upon your family and friends.
Well…now, to be honest, I did send out a note of thanks the other day to peeps who have reviewed my books because that DOES totally help–I’ve heard from people who didn’t think they’d dig another vampire book and bought it because of y’all talking it up. Those new fans are because of you. So thank you!
If you do that stuff, it’s great. Really.
But that’s not what I want for Christmas.
No, my lovely readers. Here are some things you can get your favourite writers–like, say, me–for Christmas.
Let’s face it: the Hemingway stereotype exists because it’s true. Your favourite writer is probably a drunk.
So we like booze. A wide variety of it. Some are pickier than others, but a lot of writers will drink nail polish remover if that’s all they have, so don’t stress about it. You can go classy with wine, but whiskey is often a good choice. Vodka’s a safe bet as well.
Besides numbing the cold, ugly pain of being a working writer, you might also increase your favourite author’s output if they like drinking while writing. It might also lead to an increased number of car chases and sex scenes, at least in my case. Er, fictional ones. Because drinking and driving is not cool, you guys.
Not all writers are cat people, but a fair number of them are, because cats are evil and so are your favourite authors.
The reason why that book made you cry that one time? That was because of a cat, probably. A cat made the author write that stuff. They enjoy the death and suffering of humans and use their otherworldly powers to make us write those heart-wrenching scenes you love.
If your favourite writer isn’t a cat person, kittens still work because everyone likes them.
Usually the only time firemen come to my place is when I accidentally set something on fire in the oven or that time my neighbour fell down the stairs and I called All The Emergency Services to come and help him.
I’m just saying, it would be nice to have one around without something burning or bleeding, you know?
If your author doesn’t want a fireman–and, I mean, they SHOULD since it’s useful to have one around the house–you can send him to me and I’ll find a spot for him among all my cats.
Bonus: Combine all of the above.
4. Shovel Our Driveways
I know it’s not glamorous and doesn’t fit under a tree, but for your favourite writers up north, this would make a great gift. Right now there’s a foot of snow in front of my apartment and I don’t even own a shovel.
It looks exactly like this outside right now, I swear.
So please, dear readers, feel free to come to my house and deal with snow for me.
Writing actually does pay the bills. Some of them. Small bills. Rarely rent. Most of us work at least one or two other jobs to support ourselves while writing.
Don’t discount giving us large sums of money for Christmas.
I can write a solid draft of a 100K novel in 6-8 weeks if that’s all I’m doing. So…you know, dropping a wad of cash our way, like a grant? That’d make us happy. We like money. We will write you books for money. Become our patron.
6. A Game Console
A lot of writers are gamers. Sometimes when we’ve spent the whole day killing the characters you love, we end up exhausted and we need to unwind by…killing other people’s characters.
I am very behind the times–I don’t even know what’s out anymore–but a good ol’ fashioned zombie-killing game (combined with the fireman above for a gaming partner plus some booze) might be just what your favourite author needs.
7. Ice Cream
Some days we get a bunch of rejections, bad reviews, Word crashes and we lose our manuscripts, and then the landlord drops by unexpectedly without realizing we work from home and sees us not wearing pants sitting in a bathrobe stained with our own tears.
Ice cream doesn’t fix it but when we spill it on our robes, it disguises the tears. This is the one thing that makes it superior to cupcakes (a difficult task)
If your favourite writer is a knitter, s/he will appreciate more yarn. If not, their cats will. Plus I can tie up my fireman with it. EVERYONE WINS.
Not all writers are coffee-drinkers; some are bizarre creatures who subsist entirely on tea. I suppose I understand as long as the tea is caffeinated.
The truth is, most writers are fueled by caffeine. It’s a magical substance that flows through our veins and makes us forget that carpal tunnel syndrome has kicked in and the discs in our spines have fused from sitting for long hours. So give us coffee. Lots of coffee.
Chocolate covered coffee beans.
THEY’RE HEALTHY. THE BAG EVEN SAYS SO.
So there you have it: what you can get your favourite writer for Christmas, or any holiday, really.
If you REALLY want to give us positive reviews and tweet the fuck out of our books and hypnotize people into buying them, that’s GREAT.
But a bottle of vodka will do just as well.