With Mother’s Day approaching, it’s time to think about getting something special for your mum (or the significant woman in your life).
If your mum loves to write or dreams of being a writer, think beyond the flowers/slippers combo and offer her a gift that tells her that you love her and understand she has goals beyond her love and care for you. Imagine.
So here’s our round-up of the perfect gifts for the mum who loves to write.
We asked a group of mums who love to write what their number one gift for Mother’s Day would be and we got one answer: Time.
Time to think. Time to write. Time to create.
So, while it may seem like an anathema to the spirit of togetherness that Mother’s Day espouses, it may be that the best gift you can offer your writing mum is some time away.
Book her into a hotel room (ensuring a steady supply of coffee and snacks nearby). Or look for a writer’s retreat in the country where she’ll have acres of space, peace and quiet.
One mum I know was given a balcony cabin for one on a weekend cruise and swears it was the only reason she finally finished her novel.
Whichever you choose, pack her off with her laptop or notebook and lots of love.
If you really don’t want to send her away, why not sign her up for our Make Time To Write course, which will show her how to prioritise writing in everyday life. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
A writing craft book
Never mind if your mum has a shelf full of books about writing – writers love to learn the secrets of success from other writers. You can never have too many. And if you choose a new release you can be pretty sure she won’t already have it.
Brilliant new writing books by Australian authors include:
The Writer Laid Bare by Lee Kofman
Part memoir, part craft book, Kofman deep dives into some of the most difficult-to-pin-down aspects of a writer’s life – unearthing your true voice, bringing searing honesty to the page, stilling your mind enough to find space for creativity.
The Novel Project: A step-by-step guide to your novel, memoir or biography by Graeme Simsion
An accessible overview of the process of writing a book, from preparation through to working with an editor.
Look – it’s your book! Write, publish and promote your non-fiction book: a self-publishing guide for Australian writers by Anna Featherstone
Covers everything from how to work out what you’re going to write to researching, editing, formatting, publishing and promoting your book.
So You Want To Be A Writer (How to get started while you still have a day job) by Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait
Perfect if she’s just starting out and needs a guide to being a writer, this one is full of practical tips and advice with a hefty dose of inspiration. If your mum loves the podcast, she’ll love the book.
What to do when you don’t have a book coming out (& even more sage advice) by Angela Slatter
Award-winning author and AWC presenter Angela Slatter presents a bite-sized collection of essays about developing a sustainable writing career.
Tools of the trade
Just as a writer can never have enough craft books, neither can she have enough notebooks.
Our very own, the multi-talented founder of the Australian Writers' Centre Valerie Khoo, has created a beautiful range of creative journals, full of inspiring writing quotes. Find out more.
Write The World Notebooks are cute, lightweight and 100 per cent of the price of each notebook ($10) goes to effective charities. More details here.
BookGeek is the home of literary-inspired gifts in Australia and carries a brilliant range of notebooks. Our favourites include the Jane Austen, Ada Lovelace, Mary Shelley Handwriting Notebook Set (gorgeous pastel covers featuring the authors’ handwriting, as drawn from the manuscript collections at the Bodleian Library) and the Laptop Library Notepad, reproduced from a cover of The New Yorker magazine.
Or, if you’re looking for a new version of an old-fashioned notebook, why not buy her a licence for Scrivener, the software designed specifically for writers. Details here. If your mum is new to Scrivener, you can couple this gift with our 2 Hours to Scrivener Power course.
Alternately, give her a gift voucher (valid for three years!) and the luxury of choosing for herself!
One piece of advice you’ll hear over and over from Valerie Khoo is the importance of the Creative Date to inspire writers.
What’s a Creative Date? It’s taking yourself to a gallery, to the theatre, to an exhibition, to a poetry reading, to a book launch or a writing festival or even to a movie or a concert.
Wherever you go, the key is to take in the ideas of others and to view how different creative people see the world. Sometimes it changes the way that you see the world, too.
So buy your mum a ticket to inspiration (or two, if you want to go along). Some ideas for right now or in the near future:
• Sydney Writers’ Festival
• Who are you: Australian Portraiture, at the National Gallery of Victoria
• 9 to 5 The Musical, at Queensland Performing Arts Centre
• Alice (In Wonderland), West Australian Ballet
• Flickerfest (touring to Adelaide, Brisbane, Parramatta and Newcastle in May)
• King Stingray, Garrmalang Festival Launch and Welcome to Country, Darwin Entertainment Centre
• Dark Mofo, Hobart
Or search for events near you!
Do all of these suggestions sound like perfect gifts for your writing mum? So you can't decide? Then it's best to go with an Australian Writers' Centre gift voucher – you can't go wrong.
Allison Tait is the author of three epic middle-grade adventure series for kids: The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. A presenter at AWC and former co-host of the So You Want To Be A Writer podcast, Al reads a lot, writes a lot, and blogs at allisontait.com. She will be bookmarking this post for her two sons.