Are you shopping for a writer? We’re coming up on the holidays, but whatever the gift-giving occasion, one thing’s for sure: writers can be difficult to read. (I know; I couldn’t help myself!) Here are a few ideas to warm your writer’s heart:
1. Luxurious Paper
Pretty much every writer I know has a thing for paper, with secret stashes of blank notebooks hidden all around the house. Don’t let that deter you — there can never be enough! When it comes to correspondence, journaling, and even grocery lists, a spiral notebook just won’t do. The digital age has made real paper even more delicious. Try Leuchtterm’s uber popular hardback journal if you need a starting point. Your scribe will thank you.
2. A serious Pen
If you’re in the loop, you know about the resurgence in popularity of fountain pens. My mouth waters at the thought of all the colored ink and barrels and nibs available now. The weight of the pen presses down on the paper, so the writer can hold the pen with less pressure and, therefore, less fatigue. There are so many styles and price ranges offered, you can really match personality to pen. Does your writer like minimalism? Maybe a simple, hardwood pen body. Does your writer love a little bling? Look for metallic inks. The options are endless. If you get overwhelmed, a gift card to your local office supply store (if you’re lucky enough to have one) or Goulet Pens will thrill the recipient.
3. Beautiful Office Accessories
Have you seen the Cynthia Rowley file folders? How about the desk delights at Kate Spade?! And, ooh, this customizable, leather file clutch? I’m going to stop right here so I won’t hyperventilate. You get the idea!
4. Subtle Jewelry
Most of the time, writers don’t wear their identity on a t-shirt. And the “So, what do you do?” question can be awkward. (I don’t know why, but it is.) Subtle jewelry can be a conversation starter for those who are paying attention, and a secret identity for the rest of the time. Presenting a writer with these pieces will let her know that you see her and support her. Oh, and it’s also beautiful!
When you think about it, sitting in a climate-controlled office around a bunch of paper can leave one a little…parched. A gift basket of tea, coffee, fancy sodas, or wellness waters would be a welcome break. (If you include a package of chocolate, cookies, or crackers, you’ll be a hero!) You may never quench their burning quest for the right word, but at least you can quench their thirst!
There are a lot of articles about how to not alienate/offend your loved ones when you’re writing. Apparently, an interruption during a critical scene can pretty easily result in snarling, meltdowns and bruised feelings. (Not at my house, of course!) The key? Clear expectations and respect. Also helpful — a Do Not Disturb sign for the office door, noise-canceling headphones, or a couple of hours of free childcare.
7. Typing Gloves
Don’t laugh at this. When the temperatures dip, the digits get chilled, ya’ll. And I’m not the only one with cold hands and a warm, wordy heart. In fact, several NaNoWriMos in a row, I derailed my word count trying to design some fingerless typing gloves. Turns out? It was a massive time-suck. Do your writer a favor and gift them with a cozy pair of hand-snuggies. Once your fingers freeze, the typos really add up…
8. A Great Bag
Does anyone else have a normal purse and a “work bag”? Lots of pretty handbags just aren’t meant to hold a complete manuscript, journal, a fistful of pens, a wireless keyboard, a wallet, and a phone. And that makes me sad. A satchel, messenger bag or tote that doesn’t look like a grocery bag would make me happy. Pro tip: make sure you get something with super-duper reinforced handle stitching. The office-on-the-go gets heavy and gravity is not our friend, here.
The Storymatic games are so versatile, you’ll want to buy a set for your family, too. It’s a great creativity builder for screen-free family nights. It’s an idea-generator. The Rememory version is a wonderful way to connect with older family members and preserve those precious stories and family histories.
10. A Life!
Personally, I’m in Week Whatever of what feels like an endless slog of editing. When was the last time I saw my friends? Months? Years? Nope, because I did something very dorky and set a reminder on my phone to schedule catch-up time with my buds. I learned that if I didn’t get very intentional about socializing, it wouldn’t happen. Especially if your writer has a day job, get her out of the house and out of her head! A lunch date, a movie night, a hike, roller skating with the kids — anything! She might emerge from her office blinking and mildly confused, but that will soon pass 🙂 Help her recharge her creative batteries by getting her into the real world for an afternoon of fun.
11. Cafe Writing Cards
Speaking of getting out of the house, cafe writing is a popular compromise. Am I socializing? No. Am I working in a public place? Yes, but with frequent trips to the counter to refill that latte. A gift card to a local coffeehouse or cafe will be appreciated and definitely not re-gifted.
12. Comfy Chair
Sitting may be the new smoking, but it’s hard to type at a walking desk! Even with frequent breaks to stretch my legs and re-shape my spine, I still spend a lot of time sitting. An ergonomic office chair keeps the body aligned and the mind sharp, and would be a blessing for any writer. No designated office space? Check out these do-it-all multi-tasking chairs.
13. Subscription to Writers’ Publications
When is a magazine more than a magazine? If you gift your writer with a subscription to Writer’s Digest or another publication dedicated to the craft, you’re telling them that you believe in them. A subscription also gives you an active role in helping a writer hone their skills and improve their writing, and that’s a cool feeling. You might even get a shout-out on the Acknowledgements page 🙂
14. Membership to Writers’ Organization
I’m so lucky to have West Virginia Writers, my state writers’ group. I can’t overstate the importance of crucial support, encouragement, and training I’ve soaked up for over a decade at the yearly conference, weekend workshops, and events that WVW sponsors. Membership is crazy-affordable, especially considering the benefits I’ve enjoyed. Check out the organizations in your state and region. Even if a membership fee isn’t in your budget, a donation given in your writer’s name will speak volumes.
This may be the deluxe gift for writers. Scrivener is a software program that helps writers organize and create their work. It’s a powerful tool that can sort notes and research, outline chapters, and even format a manuscript for Kindle. Gifting an aspiring writer with Scrivener will show them that you not only believe in their work, but that you are expecting to read it when it’s published. Not if. When.
(I know what you’re wondering, and, yes, there are open-source options available.)
I hope these gifts give you a ton of ideas for the writers on your list. They’ll be touched at your thoughtfulness, and definitely won’t write you as a villain in their next book. Are you a writer? What was the most fantastic writerly gift you’ve received?