9 Great Gifts For Writers (That Will Actually Help Them Write More)

 

With less than ten days left until Christmas, tis the season for my personal holiday tradition: total gift-giving panic. The only Christmas presents I’ve amassed so far are a pair of cooking utensils for a relative I haven’t spoken to three years. What I did buy is an art print of Barad-dûr, for myself, because I’m a garbage human being.

But you don’t have to suffer my shame! And if you’re reading this now, I can only assume that you’re on the prowl for a great last-minute gift for a writer in your life. Or maybe you are the writer in your life, and you’re shopping for yourself. No judgement, man. With the Eye of Sauron glaring down at me in reproach, I’m right there with you.

So, you need a gift for a sentence-wrangler, stat. I know what you’re thinking. A new notebook is the perfect gift for any writer, right? All those blank pages just waiting to be filled—it’s practically like giving them the ability to write more! Notebooks are the go-to gift for any wordsmith. You’re buying five of them.

Oh, dear sweet gracious Christmas elf. Please don’t.

If I had a nickel for every beautifully-bound blank page in my house, I could quit my day job and spend the rest of my life filling them. And the worst part is? I love it. I’m 100% a notebook hoarder. I adore all the different covers, the nice leather and creamy paper, their vast sense of potential. But let’s be real; most of the time the beautiful artistic notebooks that my friends and relatives give me end up stacking up on the side of my desk while I type everything into my computer—and then inevitably go out and buy myself a new notebook that better fits my needs.

So as much as I, and the writers in your life, might like a notebook, maybe the time has come to give a different and more helpful writing-related gift this year. Please. Help me kick my addiction to stockpiling blank paper.

Subscription to Duotrope

Buying a subscription to a website might seem like an underwhelming gift, but for writers of short fiction or poetry Duotrope is a lifesaver. Members get access to all sorts of juicy, detailed information about various magazines and publishers, from response times to acceptance statistics. It helps you keep track of all your submissions, and know where you can send them next. So really, you’re buying them relief from all the headaches that submitting to magazines can entail.

Scrivener

If your writer prefers novels to short fiction, Scrivener is a great tool. For those planning on self-publishing, or who simply could use a hand with formatting, Scrivener comes with tools to help get your manuscript ready for publication, and to compartmentalize chapters and sections for easy finding and rearranging. No more endless scrolling through a word document to reach the section you need, or awkward cutting and pasting to move a section around. Hallelujah.

Nonfiction Books

They say you should write what you know, so it’s behooves any writer to know as much as possible. A good nonfiction book can be a great source of inspiration in any genre. If you know they like fantasy, try getting them a book on an interesting historical period (great for worldbuilding!). If they tend to write romance, an illustrated book of cities could give them the setting of their next fictional triste. Picking a nonfiction book in a relevant topic is so much more thoughtful than simply grabbing the first “How To Write” book off the shelf at Barnes & Noble.

Tea or Coffee

Skip the mug and go straight for the good stuff that goes inside. All the writers I know are hot-drink junkies; there’s nothing better to have beside their writing station than a piping hot cup of leaf or bean water, to sip pensively as they mull over an entry on thesaurus.com.

Noise Cancelling-Headphones

Let’s be honest—having relatives over for the holidays is great, until it’s not. Sometimes in the hubbub of family traditions, finding a private sanctum to get some much-needed writing done is hard to come by. A nice pair of headphones is a pricier gift, but one that will give your writer a chance to work wherever they are.

Or you could chase noisy relatives out of the house with a broom, but I hear that doesn’t go over well when it’s time to sit down to Christmas dinner.

Seat Cushion

Who spends more time slumped in an uncomfortable chair than your local hard-working writer? Not only will you be saving them back pain by getting a nice ergonomic cushion for the sake of their tired buttocks, but you might also be saving their health. Sitting down all day is bad for you, yo! I should know, I haven’t hoisted myself out of this hard wooden chair in 6 hours! I can’t feel my legs!

True Motivation

What’s the use of getting them all this writing-related stuff if they aren’t going to actually do it? Steal a treasured item, pet, or child from your favorite writer’s house and promise to give it back only when they’ve sent you proof that they met their writing quota for the day. Christmas day is no excuse to slack off!

I’m kidding, of course. (Save that crime-spree for New Year’s. You know they’re making a resolution to write more.)

A Nice Pen

Because you know someone’s going to get them a notebook anyways.

 

What do you think, writers? Do you like getting the Traditional Notebook Gift™ for Christmas?

11 thoughts on “9 Great Gifts For Writers (That Will Actually Help Them Write More)

    1. Ugh! How can anyone say books aren’t a good gift? They’re the best! I love nothing more than to spend Christmas morning reading the books I just unwrapped. I hope that someone will have mercy on you and get you one of the ones you asked for 🙂

    1. Hey Kendra, when you’re at your wordpress reader and click “manage” beside followed sites, you should be able to type ameliafisher.com in to the bar in order to follow it through wordpress rather than email.

      I’m still pretty new to wordpress myself (and even newer to self-hosting) so sorry for the confusion! But I think there’s a plugin to make a follow button for wordpress, so hopefully in the future it will be easier 🙂

      EDIT: I added a wordpress subscribe button to the footer and sidebar. Hopefully that will work!

    1. Hi Raimey, sorry for taking a while to respond to your comment (apparently I stopped getting email notifications for new comments when switching my blog to a new platform; still hiking up that learning curve!). What was it you were trying to register for?

  1. Thank you! Notebooks stress me out so much, because though I love them and they’re beautiful, I need to assign each notebook a purpose or I feel like I’ve wasted it, and I’m incapable of doing that with so many notebooks.
    So yes.. “a nice pen”. Loved it 😛

    1. I feel your pain. And once I assign a notebook with a specific purpose, I feel like I can’t use it for anything else. Which means I end up running around with 5 different notebooks in my purse and no circulation in whichever arm is carrying it 🙂

  2. This post made me laugh 🙂

    I have only bought one present this year so far. It’s Christmas on Sunday. I got so distracted by writing, and Twitter and Blog Hop, that I seem to be more disorganised than ever this year.

    I agree so much about the notebooks. People buy them for me nearly every year, and I have a cupboard full now!

    A non fiction book is such an awesome gift idea! It would stop me trawling the internet to research and getting terribly distracted by my fandoms 🙂

    After a few hours of festivities, chasing relatives out of the house with a broom is always mighty tempting!

    1. Honestly, when it comes to a choice between “writing” and “Christmas stuff”, I’ve got my priorities set out for me. (It’s writing. Sorry, friends and family. You’ll get your Christmas presents some time in January)

      That’s one of my favorite things about nonfiction books: you can reference them without getting sucked into an endless research spiral. Plus, a lot of times they have a wide variety of information that can lead to different ideas that just googling specific answers might not turn up.

      Here’s hoping your Christmas shopping turned out okay! Soon, the madness will be over for another year…

      1. I could spend hours in the non-fiction section of our local library, it’s always so quiet. Last time, I found a really interesting book on stone circles. I never knew there were so many different theories surrounding them. You are right, Google never would have turned up so much.

        I managed to get everything done eventually, but shopping on Christmas Eve was a massive mistake!
        Christmas isn’t over for me until after the 29th: the other half’s family are having a massive get together then. Or, it seems massive to me: It’s not that many people, but they are all very loud and opinionated!
        Hope that you had a good holiday!

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