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My birthday is coming up soon, so I’ve been scanning Amazon for all sorts of cool trinkets. While I haven’t found anything that I need, I have found all sorts of cool gifts that would make my life as a writer better.
If you have a writer in your life, this list should help you give them an awesome tool to help grow their craft!
1. Writing programs
As a broke college student, I use Google Docs instead of Word or Scrivener or even Evernote for my writing because it is 100% functional and 100% free.
And I cannot even begin to tell you how awesome it would be if someone decided to buy me a copy of Scrivener or the latest iteration of Word for Mac. I mean, I get by with free stuff because it’s what I can afford.
If you know your writer friend would appreciate it, apps and programs are epic gifts. Double check before you gift software—if your writing friend does all of their writing on PCs and you get them the Apple product, you’re a lame gift-giver.
2. Books to read
Everybody knows that 90% of the world’s best writers are avid, fanatic readers who get inspiration from sniffing the pages of books (these facts are only partially made-up). If you have read a good book or series, chances are good your writer friends will appreciate it.
Or at least appreciate getting to fill up their bookshelves.
Here are three ways to choose books that writers will love to read:
- A book in their genre. Writers love reading what they’re writing about. As a fantasy/sci-fi writer, I love Tolkien and Asimov like they’re my writing uncles, and happily dive into other novels within the genres.
- A prize-winning book. Because let’s be real, most of us writers want to write a prize-winning book someday. Bonus points if it also is in our genre, but we’re open to all sorts of influences and ideas.
- A book that’s 100% out of their zone. Triple-check to make sure the book is good, but when a non-fiction writer reads graphic novels, it stimulates new ways of thinking that improve their writing.
I rarely receive books because people are afraid or assume that I already have them or have read them. If that’s the case, give the book(s) anyways, and make sure to include the receipt and/or a way to swap it with one that your writer doesn’t already have. You can never have too many books!
3. Stuff for their writing corner
This one will be particular for each writer—many writers don’t share what their writing nook is like. However, there are many useful tools that you can offer the writer in your life as a gift.
- Organizational materials. This should help them to keep their thoughts in order—stuff like empty notebooks, whiteboards, folders and binders, and so on.
- Cool writer things. Mugs, comfy pens, posters, inspirational T-shirts—writer paraphernalia is a real thing.
- Mood-setting. Candles, Christmas lights, comfy blankets, laptop desks… get them into the writing spirit.
I’m not saying that every writer needs to spice up their writing corner, but I am saying you could give them a leg up if you see something they’d love.
4. Books on writing
So this is a risky category. You don’t want to imply that their writing is bad—you just want to give them a useful resource so they continue improving their writing. I have a whole shelf in my bookcase that is dedicated to the craft of writing, and I appreciate it when people think I’m writerly enough to give me a book on writing.
Here are some books on writing that I 100% recommend:
So there are dozens and thousands of more books than this short list, but you and your writer friends can trust these to be encouraging if not helpful.
And you can never go wrong with a book of writing prompts for practice!
In this category are two kinds of gifts: handmade, and celebrity.
A handmade gift can be anything from the 3rd section but made by you for your writer. The goal of autographing something personally by yourself for that person is that they know that you support them and believe in their skill.
Every time they see it or use it, you want them to feel empowered to do what they love: write.
Y’know what’s better than the hardcover box set of the Harry Potter series? A signed copy of the Harry Potter box set. Bonus points if the signature includes a personalized message to your writer.
What do you think?
As a writer, what kinds of gifts would you enjoy? Do you trust non-writer friends (or even fellow writers) to give you writing-based gifts? Why or why not? Share in the comments!