As with all relationships, communication is key. Writers are still individuals and each person has a different way of receiving love and care. While surprises are lovely, odds are few others (particularly non-writers) have asked your writer what they need to have an ideal experience while writing. Ask. Listen. Take notes (Taking notes from a writer on what they’re saying is so attractive. Especially if you nod thoughtfully and make occasional eye contact. Yeah. We said it.). Finding the best ways to show your writer love may be trial and error, but hopefully with the below tips and honest, connective conversation you can elevate your expressions of affection for the writer in your life.
Take the kids to a park. Take the dog for a long walk. Take yourself for a long walk. Let the writer have alone time. Time is the most valued resource for a writer. Unfortunately for every creator ever, our ideas don’t just explode in one giant burst from our brains onto a page (or screen, or canvas, etc). Finding time to devote to creative/personal pursuits can be difficult. For writers, some can steal moments here and there, making short but steady progress over time. Others need hours of uninterrupted time, or at least 30-45 minute stretches to focus. It’s like multitasking at a job. When you’re constantly bombarded with interruptions and distractions, your work will never be to the quality it would be if you had the time to dedicate to one task at a time. So even if you can’t empty a space for a writer during their writing time, try to minimize interruptions and distractions.
Create a space for/with them. Think about ergonomics and comfort, not just for a seat, desk, and writing tools, but lighting, plants, bookshelves, blankets, etc. Even the décor can be important, from paint color to coasters, from footstools to calendars. Check out spaces on Pinterest, Apartment Therapy, or other home décor sites and magazines (many libraries have access to digital magazines as well as print editions).
If you can’t craft a space in your home, help them find coffee shops, libraries, bookstores, etc. where they feel comfortable and inspired to create. Maybe try outdoor spaces like parks or botanical gardens, or even a backyard.
Respect their need for time and space, but also the process in general. Understand that sometimes “writing time” looks like wandering around the house, staring at a wall/out a window, and even a little streaming binge (though it might be good to remind your writer of deadlines if they get sucked into a new series…). Support their efforts.
Writing may not appear to be as ‘active’ as other creative pursuits like painting, dancing, acting, etc. but that doesn’t mean the brain work and fingers typing/scribbling don’t take time, energy, an effort. A writer may not appear to be ‘doing anything’ during their writing time, but one of the most respectful and loving things you can do for them is, we’ll say it again, NOT INTERRUPT.
Everyone love gifts. Writerly gifts don’t always have to be notebooks and pens with quippy sayings from their favorite writers (though they are appreciated). Or writer-themed mugs and tea collections (also appreciated). Or their 97th book on the craft of writing. If you want to break out of the writer gift traditions, think of something unique to your writer that could be useful or even just fun. Do they fidget when they’re thinking and need a toy or puzzle game to keep their hands occupied? Is their well-worn writing chair in need of an upgrade (or a comfy pillow or blanket addition)? Do they listen to music while writing and could use some lovingly crafted playlists? Could they use a plant or other object in their writing space to bounce ideas off of? Have they been on a deadline and hunched over a screen for days leaving them in desperate need of a massage? Is there a conference coming up (like AWP) or a class they want to take (wink wink nudge nudge)?
Get to know your writer’s likes and loves and it should be easy to find (or create) the perfect gift to show your affection for them.