Friday, November 17, 2006

Christmas gifts for writers, part 2

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas...

Last year, I came across an article on gifts for writers, and I expanded on it with an article of my own. I’ll be posting a part of it every Friday and then eventually post the entire article on my Story Sensei blog.

I’m starting this series early so your loved ones—er, Santa can start saving up for maybe something extra special.

And if you have ideas of your own, leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list!

Gifts for Writers, part two (continued from part one)

• Arrange an author's website--domain registration, hosting, professional designer

• A set of business cards, or arrange to have the writer work with a graphic designer to design her own business cards

I can’t stress enough the importance of a professional looking business card. I worked with two graphic designers—one to create my logo, and one to design the look of my card (Designer Girl Graphics). Then I had the card printed using an online company rather than printing it myself because the cardstock and colors look more professional.

• CDs or MP3s of recorded writing workshops from a writer’s conference

• Membership to a writing organization like RWA or ACFW

• Registration fee and/or hotel and travel costs to a writer’s conference

• New laptop or computer, printer, scanner/fax/copy machine, flatscreen monitor

• Ergonomic chair and/or footrest, ergonomic or wireless keyboard, ergonomic or wireless mouse/trackball
I’m one of the lucky ones in that I haven’t had too many repetitive motion injuries from my writing, but I’m also not taking any chances.

I made sure I got a very good chair with a footrest that supports my lower back (which has problems from an old work-related injury). I have an ergonomic keyboard. I tried out many different styles of mice and trackballs at various office supply and computer stores until I found the one that best fits my hand and wrist, and I don’t skimp on paying good money for it.

Wireless is also convenient because I can shift my keyboard and/or trackball around on my desk, which isn’t very big, to enable me to do other types of work. However, not everyone will need/want this feature.

If buying this for a loved one, it’s a good idea to not surprise them with this gift, but to go with him/her to pick out a chair, keyboard, or mouse/trackball so you can be sure to get them one that really fits their body.

I use mine a lot to schedule my writing. I like using the Calendar feature to figure out what blog posts I’m supposed to be posting, how many words I need to do on each day, when my deadlines are. Not everyone is digitally-minded, however—I have many friends who like to use a regular calendar instead.

• MP3 player/iPod and/or accessories—car power adapter, Griffin iTrip, armband holder, exercise earplugs or other specialized/high-end earplugs/earphones
I use my iPod a lot. I often listen to music while writing. I also buy the MP3 recordings of writing workshops from RWA and ACFW conferences and then listen to the workshops when I’m walking the dog, exercising on a machine, or driving in my car—I have a Griffin iTrip accessory that hooks into my iPod so that it can be heard through my car’s FM radio.

To be continued next week Friday.