Monday, November 30, 2020

Gift-Giving Basics for the Non-Writing Spouse

From Edie, I apologize for the repost that went out in email. This is the real blog post for today. 

Gift-Giving Basics for the Non-Writing Spouse

by Kirk Melson

Because it's Christmas Eve, I thought I'd share one of my challenges as the spouse of a writer.I don’t know about the rest of you, but I tend to be a little on the dense side when it comes to buying presents. I have great intentions, but I could never remember what my wife wanted when it came time to buy her a gift. Think I’m lying? I blogged about one of my most spectacular boo-boos here in My Life…In Print

All kidding aside, I love giving my wife the things she loves. What man doesn’t? And I have to admit that her choice of career has made life much simpler in that department—just don’t tell her I said that!

Since I’m talking to other writing spouses, I’ll let you in on the list I’ve developed.

Gifts to Give My Writing Spouse
  • First, I’ve discovered that like all writers, the list of books she needs (wants) is literally pages long. I can never go wrong with a gift card to her favorite bookstore or website.
  • Next, there are magazine subscriptions for writing magazines—online or in print. And I’ve recently found out there are even subscriptions available to books. She’s always got to have a current copy of the CMOS (for those out there who don’t know, that’s the Chicago Manual of Style and is something book writers need). Anyway come to find out, this book is on its millionth (or something) edition and is constantly being updated. Now instead of buying her book after book after book, I can get her a subscription to the Chicago Manual of Style. Who knew? Other books you can do that with are The Christian Writer's Market GuideThe Writer’s Market Guide, and the AP Style Book. 
  • And speaking of book after book after book, all writers love e-readers. I know your special writer probably started off talking about how he or she loved the feel of real books, etc. But trust me when I say, “ALL WRITERS LOVE E-READERS.”
  • Then there are those shiny little baubles we all love to give our wives. No not diamonds, I’m talking about all the newest tech gadgets, like iPads, or iPhones, or whatever the coolest gizmo of the month is. I will say they do have something in common with diamonds—they’re mighty small for the price tags they can carry!
  • Finally, beyond all the gadgets and gizmos, there are the writing retreats, conferences, and classes. These events are great for you both, and here’s why. She gets to spend uninterrupted time with others of her kind (writers). This special breed of people loves to get together and jabber at each other in a foreign language. They can go on and on about plot and character, noun and verb, past perfect and future tenses. Not certain about the foreign language part? Just attend one of these events, I have, and I didn’t understand half what was said. 
What’s in it for you? I’ve discovered that when she comes back home, she’s happy to converse with me about normal subjects…at least for a few days.

Now I’d like to get a few pointers from you. If you were going to add to my list, what would you suggest? After all, we writing spouses have to stick together!



  1. I gave a friend a waterproof notepad for her shower wall. That way she could jot down those last-minute inspirations. She still talks anout it.

  2. I gave a friend a waterproof notepad for her shower wall. That way she could jot down those last-minute inspirations. She still talks anout it.

  3. Office supplies! Different colored pens, notebooks (for practical work and for journaling), inspirational items the writer can sit on his/her desk and get a boost from. At a writers' group Christmas party, I gave a lighted pen (keep it by your bed to jot down those middle-of-the-night thoughts) for the gift exchange, and it was "stolen" the maximum number of times.

  4. Great post, Kirk. I'm giving my spouse a coffee mug with a selfie & her fave author taken at a book launch PLUS a journal with a picture on the front cover of her favorite cat asleep in our birdbath.
    Jay in Anderson, SC