At the risk of seeming out of step with the spirit of Christmas, I thought I’d swim against the tide and share a few bad holiday gift ideas for writers.
There are plenty of lists out there to tell you what to get your freelance writer friends for Christmas. I even agree with some of them. But I don’t know if I’ve seen a list of what not to get.
So here we go.
6 Gifts Not to Get for Freelance Writers
Some gifts just aren’t welcome. And while it’s the spirit of the giving that really matters, sometimes even that is in question. Here are some unwelcome gifts.
- A “free” ebook that is actually a thinly veiled sales pitch. Okay, I like ebooks. I like free. I even take advantage of free offers sometimes. But this is not really a gift. Don’t pretend that it is.
- A “free” subscription to a newsletter that is actually a thinly veiled sales pitch. This is like the “gift” above… except it keeps on coming all year round. A gift is not a gift if you have to opt out.
- Products with your company name on it, especially items of clothing. Okay, this isn’t as bad the previous gifts, but really where am I going to wear it? And do you even know my size? (Do I want you to?)
- Food, unless you are a close friend. I’ve made this mistake myself. But these days so many people have dietary restrictions, odds are good that you’re sending something I can’t even eat.
- Pencils and paper (unless they’re really cute). Everyone assumes that because I’m a writer, I must need lots of these. And I do, to some extent. But actually I do most of my writing at the computer.
- Something you’ve written that you want me to check for you. If your goal is to get published, you may think that gifting me with your manuscript is a good gift idea. It isn’t. I charge to edit manuscripts.
By now, you may be scratching your head and thinking I’m really difficult to please. Nothing could be further from the truth.
What to Do Instead
This post wouldn’t be complete without a few positive gift suggestions. So here they are:
- A written recommendation or testimonial. These are like gold for freelance writers. If you’ve worked with me and liked my work, a couple of sentences saying so could be the best gift you could give me.
- An Amazon gift certificate. Even a small one helps. This way, I get to choose the books (or ebooks) that I want. And of course, Amazon sells more than books.
- An iTunes gift card. These are incredibly helpful. Not only can I download the music I like, I can also use it to download apps for my iPhone or iPad.
What about you?
What Christmas gifts do you NOT want to receive this year?