“Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address,” said Joe Fox in the 1998 rom-com You’ve Got Mail.
While it’s not fall, a new year has a similarly uplifting effect on the writers among us. The first month on a freshly printed calendar or the blank opening page of a new diary fills us with so much hope and anticipation for the year ahead.
The season of gift giving may have come and gone, but the new writing year is just beginning. Here are our top 10 items to treat yourself to this month.
1. A Moleskine diary – Ah, a new diary. And a Moleskine one at that. There’s just something about these Italian designed paper products that we can’t get enough of. You might as well get a notebook while you’re at it too, right? It’s a new year after all. Prices vary from Moleskine.
2. A bookish cover art calendar – This carefully curated collection of groundbreaking graphic design spans the spectrum of classic covers from antiquarian first editions to pulp fiction paperbacks and everything in between. Complete with interesting literary titbits and asides, a portion of the proceeds go to The National Literacy Trust. £7.30 from The Literary Gift Company.
3. A massaging bed rest – Of course, we’re usually the picture of work from home health and spend 9-5 at our desks, eyes forward and backs straight with an exemplary jog around the block during break time. For those (ahem, every) days we want to stay in bed in our pajamas while we work, however, this bed rest is drool-worthy perfection. First, it’s super plush and comfy. Second, it massages you. While you write. All day long, if you’re so inclined. We don’t think we need to extol its virtues any more than that really, but this new best friend also comes with an overhead LED light, a holder for your copious cups of coffee and plenty of storage for magazines, books or research papers. £60 from Brookstone. Bliss.
4. A coffee subscription – While there’s nothing wrong with good old Nescafé, you occasionally need something a little more exotic when deadlines are looming. A monthly subscription to Kopi, for example, ensures you’ll get a new supply of roasted coffee from different parts of the world every month. £8.95 per month from Kopi.
5. Writer Dice – Dice created to help you keep your story moving by posing conjunctions such as ‘and’ or ‘but’. Simple, but effective. For £0.60p, you can get the app too. Writing Dice from Daniel Solis.
6. 642 Things to Write Journal – Similar to the dice, this journal aims to get the creative juices flowing with its collection of witty writing prompts. From writing your own obituary to penning an ode to an onion, this book is the perfect way to ease into your writing day. £9 from Amazon.
7. A flower subscription – Fresh flowers on your desk make all the difference to your mood. They just do. For £16.99 a month, bunches.co.uk will send a bouquet of beautiful, long-lasting blooms straight to your door. That’s the price of a magazine, a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. This will last longer and keep you feeling fresh and cheerful even on the gloomiest of days.
8. An Evernote subscription – The daddy of note-taking software, Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web. From breakthrough plot ideas at the supermarket to an interesting page of research you stumble across on the web late at night, this app keeps everything nice and organised for you. £3 per month from Evernote.
9. A one off house clean – Keeping house while writing a novel is an adventure in itself. Dishes pile up, your entire wardrobe can be found in the ironing pile and the fridge … well … let’s not talk about the fridge. Now that we’re in a new year, why not treat yourself to a one off, professional houseclean to get things ship shape again? Housework will be easier to manage with just a few minutes a day thereafter. Prices vary.
10. A new writing guidebook – As a writer, you’re constantly evolving and honing your craft. This month, pick up a new writing guidebook to read at your leisure. Stephen King’s On Writing is well recommended and a great place to start. £4.31 from Amazon.
Can you recommend anything else? What is your indulgence as a writer?