I knew I had become more serious about my writing craft when it showed up in my list for all of Santa’s Helpers in my life. On this Twelve Days of Scrivmas for Writers | Day 1, we will be looking at gifts for writers that are always appreciated. Some are easier and less expensive than you think!
Gifts For Writers Over $100
Research Vacation for a Book. I’m going to skip the obvious #1 choice of a laptop and go with something less traditional. Has your writer spoken about wanting to set a book in San Francisco? Or the Florida Keys? Or perhaps Rome? This is my top-dollar gift of choice for writers. Arrange a vacation to a location they want to use in their writing for some first-hand research. Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but if your writer is the one taking those pics, they’re worth a million.
External Monitor & Docking Station. If your loved one already has a laptop, consider an external monitor and docking station so they can utilize their laptop with a larger monitor to reduce eyestrain. Read more about how to do that here.
Ergonomic Chair or Standing Desk. Writers spend a lot of time sitting. It’s one of the hazards of our job. Making sure your writer has supportive seating or a desk that allows them to stand and work is not only a gift to their writing but to their health. I’m fond of gaming chairs myself.
Private Study or Writing Space. This can be a spare room in your house, a corner of the living room, or a repurposed closet. Having a dedicated space to write is helpful. You wouldn’t want to try cooking in the middle of the living room. Writing in the middle of daily life can be just as challenging. Give them space and watch the words flow.
Software Gifts for Writers $30-$100
Editing Software. This is at the top of the practical gift list. ProWritingAid and Grammarly are the two most often recommended. Both have a free option that will scan for grammar and syntax errors, but the real worth comes from the paid versions that learn your writing style and make suggestions that fit the writer. I use ProWritingAid, and I cannot recommend the software enough for helping me become a better writer, especially for flagging that writerly demon known as Passive Voice.
Writing Software. I am a huge fangirl of Scrivener by Literature and Latte. It is a writing program that handles everything from planning to writing to exporting in various ePUB formats to get your book out into the world. One of the things I love best about Scrivener is the ability to sync the program with Dropbox. I have the Scrivener app on my laptop, my iPad, and my iPhone. No matter where I am, no matter what device I have on me, I can write and sync my changes. I can, literally, write anywhere. Tell me that’s not a gift! Scrivener isn’t the only program available for writers. Do a quick Google Search on Writing Software and you’ll find dozens of comparative reviews and choices available.
OTHER Gifts For Writers $30-$100
Bluetooth Keyboard. Does your writer have an iPad or tablet? The gift of a Bluetooth keyboard is an inexpensive way to give them immediate portability without the expense of a laptop. With Google Docs and a wifi connection, they can write anywhere without lugging around a laptop. Some, like this one, even have a built-in place to prop up your tablet.
Webhosting for their Author Website. Hosting service for an author website is an annual expense. If your writer wants to take their website to the next level and move away from a generic WordPress site, this is the next step to take. I use Dreamhost for my site and couldn’t be happier. They handle it all for you: encrypting, WordPress hosting, domain registration, all of it. And their customer service is top-notch.
Fountain Pen. Give an “old school” gift of a fountain pen. There’s something about filling a pen from a bottle and the scratching of a nib across the page that does something to writers. Goulet Pens has everything you could possibly want.
Gifts For Writers Under $30
New Journal. I don’t know too many writers who would complain about a new journal. I’m a fan of Moleskine journals, especially this one. It’s a project planner and perfect for making notes about individual short story ideas, to-do-lists, research sessions, and more. Do check with your writer, though. Some of us have more journals than we know what to do with…
Electric Kettle or French Press. Writers run on caffeine and inspiration. Help with the caffeination part. I keep an electric kettle on my desk year-round for making tea, cocoa, and cider.
Teas, Biscuits, Pizelles, and All The Sweet Stuff. To go with the kettle, teas and tea cookies, local honey, shortbread cookies and pizelles, are all great gifts. I like sugar cubes, especially, for my writing desk. Yes, they still sell those! They come in a box of 100 and are usually found with the sugar in the baking aisle of your grocery store.
Gifts For Writers That Cost Nothing
Time To Write. This doesn’t cost anything but care and commitment. The one thing every writer needs is dedicated time to get words on the page. As a gift, consider offering your writer blocks of hours each night or each week that you will handle everything so they can focus on their craft. That means wrangling children, cooking dinner, running errands, whatever might normally get in the way of them writing. It’s an easy gift to give and one of the most precious.
Your Support. Writing is a lonely craft. Support and feedback go a long way. Offer your services as a blog or beta reader for your writer. Take it seriously. Encourage them. Ask them what they’ve written that week and ask to read it. Offer to beta read their short stories and novels, or even just chapters of things in progress.
There you have it. Just a few ideas for gifts both at the holiday and throughout the year. Remember to watch your sales. Black Friday is always a good time to find deals. Around New Year is a good time as well, especially since everyone is making New Year’s Resolutions (making time to write is a very common one). For big ticket electronics, don’t forget Back-To-School sales in the summer as well. It’s a great time to score a laptop, sometimes without paying sales tax!
Share in the comments below if you have some favorite gifts for writers, and happy gifting!
Check out some of my other articles for writers here.
Get some inspiration from the Method and Muse Podcast for writers here.
Discover more of my beautiful memes at The Magick Word.
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