Top 10 Gifts for Writers

What do you give a writer? You can’t bottle inspiration, buying an agreeable agent would probably be out of your budget, and I don’t think the antidote for writer’s block has been discovered yet (though I’m betting a placebo would do just as well).

Have no fear. There are plenty of widely available and reasonably priced gift ideas for the writer(s) in your life. Here are my top 10 picks (which may or may not be on my own list).

  • Pens and Notebooks: If you’ve been hanging out here at Live to Write-Write to Live, you already know we have a pretty strong addiction to pens and notebooks. They are, after all, the writer’s constant companion and tools of the trade. We can never get enough. Seriously. Never.
  • Online and Offline Classes and Workshops: Nothing makes writing procrastination more palatable than being able to say the “distraction” (in this case an educational opportunity) is actually helping you with your craft. Enable your writer friend with a seat in a virtual or real world classroom. There are also a lot of different book-ish courses out there in the online world, covering everything from writing to publishing to e-publishing to proposal writing. Worth a look.
  • Coffee Shop Gift Certificates: Cafes are a writer’s home away from home. Help us pay our transient rent by tossing us a few bucks for one of those fancy, foreign drinks that make our fingers twitch and our brains reel.
  • Writing Software: This one could go either way: procrastination tool or productivity booster. Writing software can be tricky to select, but I don’t think you can go wrong with the cream of the crop – Scrivener (originally only for Mac, now also available for PC).
  • Writing Books (and E-books!): Like pens and notebooks, we can never get enough books on writing. In moments of desperation, we’ll take advice from anyone so don’t worry too much about which title to choose. Just find something with a comforting looking cover. (May I suggest anything by Larry Brooks?)
  • Consultations and Services: Perhaps your writer friend could use an editor’s assistance or a professional review of a book proposal. Giving professional services may be just the fire your writer friend needs under the proverbial butt.
  • Tickets to an Event: Professional networking events, author speaking tours, and writer’s conferences can be pretty pricey. Give your writer friend the opportunity to rub shoulders or admire from afar with tickets to a special event. (Earlier this year, my beau and I went to the Portsmouth Music Hall to see Neil Gaiman speak – loved it!)
  • Reading Accessories: Writers are, by default, readers, so anything related to reading works. There is, of course, the ubiquitous e-reader, but you might also consider a subscription to Audible Books (audio books aren’t cheating), or some nifty something-or-other from Levenger.
  • Reading Material: Books, magazine subscriptions, e-books … we don’t really care about the format, we just want more good stuff to read. (And, please, try to support an indie bookstore if you can!)
  • Time: The best gift of all for any writer is time. Is your writer friend a mom who has a hard time carving writing time out of her busy day? Offer to babysit for an afternoon. Maybe your writer friend is a colleague who can’t finish his book outline because he’s always having to work late. Offer to help out at the office so he can leave on time. Maybe your writer friend is your spouse. Skip the honey-do list for a weekend and give him or her forty-eight hours of uninterrupted (and enforced) creative time.

Whatever gift you choose, something to do with writing and/or reading will let the scribe in your life know that you support that creative urge. That’s what we love to hear. So, merry-merry and happy-happy and good writing to all!

What was your favorite writerly gift ever – given or received?

Jamie Lee Wallace is a writer who also happens to be a marketer. She helps her Suddenly Marketing clients discover their voice, connect with their audience, and find their marketing groove. She is also a mom, a prolific blogger, and a student of voice and trapeze (not at the same time). Introduce yourself on facebook or twitter. She doesn’t bite … usually.

Image Credit: Oliver Hammond (“sparkled” using iPhone app LensLight)

20 thoughts on “Top 10 Gifts for Writers

  1. My java loving little writer’s heart thanks you many times over for including the coffee shop gift certificates as number 3 in your list. Here, here! And time; i.e., “Don’t expect sociability from me for another two weeks until this deadline is passed.” type statement being accepted with good grace by our friends and loved ones: VERY MUCH the best gift of all! Wonderful list: do we have permission to print a LOT of copies to handout?

    • @granbee … LOL. Yes! Print as many copies as you need. And I think that suggesting little “leave me alone” coupons might not be a bad addition to the list! 😉 Have a great holiday!

  2. …”foreign drinks that make our fingers twitch and our brains reel.” LOL, you are so funny! LOVE that line!
    As for consultation and services, Jamie – well, shortly after the New Year I plan to retain your services so I can get started on my author’s platform!
    Hadn’t thought about writer’s gifts, but this is a great start. I admit, for my birthday I bought a really expensive leather journal to track my writerly thoughts as I begin my novel in the New Year. My outline is nearly complete and I thought it would be nice to have a separate journal to record my journey as a first time novelist. In twenty years, perhaps when I’m in my seventies, I will have written several more and can look back and see how far I’ve come.

    Journals are a terrific gift item and can be found in so many styles. They aren’t something I usually buy for myself, so I think it might be an excellent and especially unique gift for any writer.

    • Hello, Laura!
      Was thinking of you today. I’m looking forward to reconnecting in January and so glad you gave yourself such a nice birthday gift. Sometimes those are the best kind … JUST what we wanted, right? 😉

      Thanks for dropping by and I’ll talk with you SOON!

      Happy holidays!

  3. Yes, good notebooks and willing test audiences. I love being able to give a story to a friend and having them tell me they love it, even if they are not a reader.

  4. I love the idea and all the suggestion,but the best gift you could give me is a Camera.I need to take photographs with the Camera I call mine which I do not have at the moment anyway.Most of the photographs I use in my posts are just bought and they are just costly.

    • Try using to search Flickr’s Creative Commons photos. That’s my main source for blog images – they are free (usually just requiring that you attribute the work with an “Image Credit” note in the post) & some are quite nice quality. Good luck!

  5. I love your list, and I just have one thing to add to it. Most writers probably have one already, but unfortunately I don’t. A laptop, or computer of any kind. Being homeless for three years my laptop was one of the first things I got rid of, and I have regretted it every day since I sold it. Now I have to blog while I’m at work. 😦

    • So sorry to hear about your hardships. A laptop is, indeed, pretty indispensable. I do know a few writers who don’t have their own and who use the computers at the local library to compose blogs, etc. It can be a hassle, however, when the librarians get nudgy about the time constraints. Hope things are looking up for you.

      • Thanks. There was a time in my life when I thought I couldn’t live without my laptop. That was put into perspective for me very quickly when I had no place to live. I learned to rely on the 1 hour limitations at the library to squeeze in everything I could, or to try to use a family members computer if they let me. Things are very much looking up though. I moved out of NJ and found a job and a new outlook on life. I am currently looking on craigslist for people selling their old laptops, so maybe I’ll have some luck soon!

  6. Pingback: WordPress Bloggers Quotable Quotes | poemattic

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