Yes, it’s that time of year when our loved ones are bombarding us requests for our wish lists. Since a cure for cancer and world peace are still, sadly, a ways off, I’ve decided to share my list of my favourite gifts for writers. As much as I love journals and my typewriter-shaped picture frame, there are some gifts that I have found far more useful and exciting over my years as a writer. So, whether you’re a writer looking for ideas for your own wish list or someone trying to figure out what t buy a writer and stumbled on this post after Googling “best gifts for writers”, here are my top 12 picks for the best gifts for writers this holiday season.
1. The Gift of Warm Coffee/Tea/Bourbon – A Mug Warmer – This is my all-time favourite gift and one that has yet to be topped! Any writer who enjoys a hot cuppa’ anything will love this inexpensive, but oh so useful gift. They cost between $9 and $12, are easily found at Wal-Mart and other department and book stores, and online. You can get ones that plug into a regular outlet or a USB port.
2. A Room of One’s Own – Hotel Gift Certificates – A night away from the distractions of home can work wonders for a writer. By giving a writer a gift certificate for a hotel stay, you are giving them the inspiration that comes from a change of scenery and the solitude to focus on their writing. I recommend a gift certificate from a hotel chain so it can be used in any location.
3. Ceramic Travel Mug Because Plastic Sucks – No, this isn’t an environmental thing, but more a loving-my-coffee-hot-and-in-a-proper-ceramic-container thing. Ceramic travel mugs are inexpensive, pretty, and just make coffee taste better. Look for one with a lid that has a rubber seal so that it’s less likely to spill.
4. Fingerless Gloves / Writing Gloves – Sure, you can splurge on super-cool writing gloves like those sold by literary swag shops (Those sold by Storiarts make me weak in the knees!), but you can also just visit any discount department store or go on Amazon and find a perfectly practical pair fingerless gloves that will serve the same purpose. Though the woolly ones are cozy, I tend to prefer writing gloves made of thinner knit like the ones I found for under $5 on Amazon. They keep your hands and arms warm without the bulk.
5. The Gift of Organization – Chalkboard Wall Decals – I love my chalkboard wall decals! You can find them in different shapes, sizes, and price points. They’re east to apply, don’t damage walls, and are perfect for keeping track of writing jobs and deadlines, or plotting a novel. A great gift for an author or freelance writer for sure! I have a set of 8 and love them!
6. Virus Protection – Between you and me: I’ve had to visit some pretty sketchy websites for research and when one visits a website of ill repute there’s always the chance they’ll catch something nasty. Great virus protection software is CRUCIAL for any writer, but a freelance writer or new writer just starting out may find it difficult to pay for a good antivirus software. This is one of the best gifts for writers you can buy, even if it’s not all that fun or cool.
7. Book Subscription Box – A writer can never read too much. Reading the works of others is a must for becoming a better writer. Book subscription boxes are all the rage on Instagram and with good reason! Each month you can have a book, along with a few other goodies, delivered to your mailbox. Even better is that there are heaps of themes to choose from so you can find one to warm the cockles of any writer this Christmas! A quick search of “book subscriptions” will give you hundreds to choose from. I personally like CrateJoy because they have different book boxes listed in one place, like boxes for comic book lovers, YA fans, and even coffee and book fiends. Prices vary, too, so you can find something to suit your budget.
8. The Gift of Good Grammar – No one likes a grammar nazi, but a writer will appreciate anything that can make them better at their craft. Help them give good grammar by gifting them a book like The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need or Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. Feeling generous? Chances are they’re already using the free version of Grammarly, but get them a premium subscription and you’ll likely have them writhing about in ecstasy on Christmas morning.
9. An Old Typewriter – I could seriously go all Tom Hanks on you about the magic of using a typewriter, but I won’t. Instead I will say that while a bit pricey and not nearly as practical for a content writer as for an author, it is one of those gifts that most writers secretly long for. The sound and feel of a vintage typewriter just can’t be beat. I personally have a Remington Rand 17 from 1939. It’s clunky and heavy as shit, but it works great and I love it. I get my ribbons on Amazon. If you want to look at old typewriters but don’t know where to start, Trunks & Travels restores and sells antique, vintage, and mid-century typewriters and supplies on Etsy. They said hello on Instagram so I checked them out and now I can’t stop swooning over their selection. (Helloooo ruby red typewriter!)
10. A Massage Gift Certificate – Whether or not you get a certificate for one of those happy-ending massages from a place with a pink neon sign is your business, but I’m going to suggest a massage by a registered massage therapist instead. An experienced RMT can help with the pain and stiffness that affects a writer’s neck, back and shoulders. Sitting on your ass and being hunched over a keyboard for endless hours is hard work, yo’! And don’t even get me started on the tension headaches from difficult clients and tight deadlines or the stress from unsteady work. Definitely one of the best gifts for writers your money can buy.
11. Ergonomic Chair or Back Rest – Take it from someone who spent years sitting on kitchen chairs or on a lopsided, but super-cute, antique banker’s chair: writing will ruin your back! If it’s in your budget to splurge for an ergonomic chair then do it, but let the writer you’re gifting shop with you so they can try them out. If they already have one in mind, like one of those kneeling chairs or balance ball chairs, browse the selection Amazon because they’ve got them at every price point. Not exactly rolling dough? Then buy them a back rest that can be attached to any chair for extra support.
12. Gift Certificates – Good Ones! – Resist the urge to get them another notebook with a writerly quote on the cover or some other adorable, but useless, writer-themed gift and instead give them a gift card to a store that they can choose something they need. A gift card may seem like a cop-out gift for a writer when there are so many fun, writerly products for sale, but it’ll be much appreciated. Who knows better what the writer needs then the writer, right? Choose a gift card from a retailer that offers everything from office supplies to electronics so they can get something they need or put it towards a big-ticket necessity that they may not be able to afford on their own, like a new computer or printer. My favourites are Amazon and Staples. You can always do a little digging to find out which stores they use, too.
There you have it! Hope my 12 best gift ideas for writers help you this holiday season. if you’re still not sure what to buy a writer in your life and are looking for more ideas, feel free to leave a comment so that other writers can chime in with their favourite gifts for writers.
Disclaimer: Though I have included some affiliate links in this post, this site is still a labour of love and these products have all been chosen by me because I find them useful as a writer; no one is paying me to share these products or my opinion.