Gifts for Writers

by limebirdkate

Valentine’s Day is coming around the bend. This is a great chance to show the writer in your life how much you love and support his or her work. Or, if you’re a writer, why not treat yourself this Valentine’s Day as a way of hearting your own work?

Fitbit One. Writers spend most of their working time sitting, being inactive. Fitbit One is a wireless gadget that can help writers (or anyone, for that matter) lead a healthier lifestyle. Fitbit One helps you to track how often you’re moving, which in turn will motivate you to move more. It also monitors your sleep quality and teaches you how to improve your sleep habits. A healthy writer is a happy writer!

Bluetooth-enabled keyboard. Writers sometimes need to write on the go, especially writers who are squeezing in their projects among family, work, and life. This keyboard can be hooked up to an iPad and therefore enable writers to write anywhere. Hello, flexibility.

Writing accessories. Mix products from an office-supply store like Staples and a craft-supply store like Michaels and create fun office and desk accessories. You can mix and match containers, file folders, bookends, and writing tools, pile them into a wicker basket stuffed with tissue paper, and voila! A gift set to go. And…the wicker basket could be used as a wastebasket in the writer’s updated space. Now, that was easy.

Journals, notebooks, and sticky notes, oh my! A writer can always use paper to jot down ideas–whether he’s dusting, running errands, cooking dinner, or schmoozing at a cocktail party. Add a collection of #2 pencils or good quality pens and you’ve got an inexpensive though valuable gift.

Gift certificates to writing workshops, conferences, or retreats. This is on the more expensive side, so best to go in on it with a few extra pals. Most writers love to jib-jab with other writers, but there are a few writers who don’t do the interactive bit. (Check with your writer to see if this is something that would be appreciated.) If you’re aiming for a surprise, it’s easy to Google any writing gatherings in your writer’s local area. Or, if you know your writer’s fave author is speaking somewhere, help him get there. Buy the bus ticket, hotel room, admission, whatever – you’ll be hearted.

There are quite a few publications out there for writers such as Writer’s Digest and Poets and Writers plus many more. Consider giving or renewing a magazine subscription.

I used to meet with a writing group in a bar. Before that, I met with a writing group in a café. Either way, I always ordered something to drink. How wonderful would it be to have a gift card to that particular writing haunt? Find out where your writer likes to spend his time and get him a gift card to spend as he pleases.

I suffer from arthritis in my neck. Sitting at a computer only worsens the aches and pains. Massages help, but they are expensive. Enter group gift! Pitch in to buy a few massages for your writer to help her feel more relaxed.

Okay, it’s no secret that writers want (read: need) book reviews, Twitter shout-outs, Facebook page likes, blog comments, etc. This element of support is free to the giver, but invaluable to a writer. However, please don’t like, follow, review carelessly. Take your time to target your support wisely, because empty words only hurt a writer in the long run. Even if someone’s work isn’t your cup of tea, there is always something in that work that is praiseworthy.

What are some writerly gifts you’d like to give or receive this Valentine’s Day?

47 Responses to “Gifts for Writers”

  1. I think personalised gifts definitely work better than the standard flowers and chocolates or better yet, all of the above 🙂

  2. Great suggestions Kate! I have another one that needn’t cost anything, and is incredibly valuable to a writer – the gift of time. How about making a gift certificate offering to look after the writers’ kids for the day, or do their housework or some other chores, to give them some dedicated writing time. This might be a nice one for someone to give to their spouse.

    • Awesome suggestion, V. I would love it if someone offered to take the kids for a whole day and leave me alone in my house so that I could putter away at my writing. To have more than one hour of no interruptions? Are you kidding me? That is music to my ears!

  3. I love the sound of the bluetooth keyboard!

  4. I agree with the gift of good, well-thought reviews. Now that I know how important that is for my own writing, I make the extra effort for others’ work. ESPECIALLY new writers.

    • Reviews are one of the hardest I think, because a well-written one takes a lot of time and thought. When I see some of the lazy reviews out there, I realize how valuable they are, because a poorly written review can be damaging to a writer — regardless if it’s a positive review of the work. And you’re right, for new writers, a review is often the only thing they have in the way of marketing. Thanks for commenting, Jessie!

  5. Great ideas. I particularly love the first two. I really need to get a keyboard for my iPad. I find it difficult to type on. Not sure why it’s taking me so long to make the purchase. Maybe I need to toss a hint my husband’s way… 😉

  6. My personal favorite gift for a writer is a fountain pen. If they have never used one before, they will be a new convert. There is something special about writing with one.

    • My mother would simply love you! She is a fountain pen collector. Every time I have to use a pen in her house, I tease her by saying, “Where are the real pens?” She gets so mad at me! 🙂 They do look awesomely cool, though.

  7. What lovely ideas. I like the keyboard for the iPad and the gift card for his/her favorite writing haunt.

    • Hi Letizia,

      I think the gift card would take a writer by surprise because it means that the giver is really paying attention to the writer’s habits. How often does that happen???

  8. I just love journals and (hint, hint – if hubby is reading this) I would LOVE another leather bound one for Valentines Day).

    There are wonderful suggestions here and I may leave the page open on the kitchen bench so he sees it 😉

    • I gave my daughter a leather-bound journal for Christmas. She ran her hand over it and whispered, “Ooohhh.” The response of a true writer. 🙂

      Yes, Dianne’s hubby, get cracking! 😉

  9. Oh, those are all excellent ideas! There’s one I would add, and I wish I could remember where I saw it so I could properly credit the originator—the gift of Time. Offer to give the writer a break on household chores over the weekend, for example, so he or she can have some extra time to write. Even if done once a month, that can really add up for the busy and often over-worked writer!

    • Yes! Vanessa mentioned that, too. A writer can never get too many gifts of Time. Even to surprise a writer with a gift like that, say first thing on a Saturday morning, would be a lot of fun to pull off. Imagine waking up to breakfast in bed and a gift card for a day of writing? I get shivers just thinking about it. 🙂

  10. My daughter gave me a quart mason jar with pretty colored paper folded notes in it, mixed in with colored ribbons and confetti for Christmas last year. It would make a great gift any time. Each note had an IOU on it – one vacuumed living room. One clean kitchen. A bunch of “I’ll walk the dog today” notes, etc. What a joy that was to receive!

    She has also been known to spontaneously go out to wash and vacuum out my car. As you folks have all shown already, gifts come in all shapes, sizes and prices! 🙂

    • Oh, I love that idea. And you’re right, that kind of gift would work in many different situations. I bet it was pretty to display, too. 🙂

      Your daughter is very generous and loving. You are really lucky, Neekster.

  11. a really nice pen from ACME Pen Company would be nice, but time to relax and write without interruptions would be fabulous, truly. Of course, I’d distract myself and waste it 🙂 but hey, a guy can dream….

    • Hi Clay,

      When I think about getting a full day to write without interruptions, I have to catch my breath. How wonderful would that be?

      I think it is easy to waste that kind of time, but maybe if you knew it was a gift, you might take it more seriously? Especially if it’s wrapped in a big red bow? 😉

  12. I ❤ this post, Kate, so much more than I ❤ Valentine's Day itself. These are great ideas all around, and – you're so right – they'd be appreciated by any writer in our circles! I admit, I'm a pen hoarder: I love collecting them and finding just the right one for writing versus drawing or inking…and I hold on to those favorites for dear (writing) life for the rest of my days. My family has learned not to tempt the snarling dog inside me by touching my favorite Zebra Sarasa! LOL!

    The giving circle of tweets, shout-outs, and reviews is an especially good idea I will have to remember this season of hearting the ones we love and care about. 🙂

    • So glad you ❤ this post. It was fun to put together, especially because it got me thinking about treating myself. Something I so rarely do. I have to hide my favorite pens from my family, as well as my sticky notes. I can't stand it when I have a great idea and there is nothing on which I can jot it down!

      I want to do more of the shout-outs across social media this year. I think Twitter and FB are great venues to bring attention to a writer and what she is up to — I just have a hard time making a habit out of tweeting and facebooking. Must do better. 🙂

  13. You are so right about the fit bit. I’ve been wearing a pedometer for a few years now and that accountability makes a big difference. I love new journals, cute notebooks and pens, but it’s hard to justify buying them (because I technically don’t NEED them). So a giftcard to a book or craft store would be so fun.

    • Hey Coleen,

      I know what you mean about not really needing more journals, notebooks, and pens. Those seem to be the gift I always get, so I have collected a lot over the years. But some of those crafty ones are too hard to resist! I love gift cards because they don’t expire, so you can go whenever the mood pleases you. Besides, half the fun is shopping and why would we want to miss out on that???

  14. Great ideas! I love the Fitbit one because we really do forget to move after a while. A gift card to a bookstore would be great too because any reading we do always helps with the writing. The thing I’d really love though is time. Coupons for someone else to cook dinner and clean the house would be perfect! 🙂

    • Another vote for time — surprise, surprise. 😉 I haven’t tried the Fitbit one, but now I’m thinking that might be the gift of choice for me. My problem is that the only one in my household savvy enough to pick up on clues is my dog. Don’t think she’ll be going out to get me a Fitbit one. 🙂

  15. Fantastic ideas, Kathryn!
    This may sound awful, but I really don’t like when people give me books as presents. I have 2 bookcases filled with books I haven’t read. It stresses me out. Plus, I’d rather pick out my own books.

    I love the gift certificate to conferences or workshops idea. Staples gift certificate would be awesome too for all the supplies. iTunes gift card for new music to write to also would be lovely. 🙂

    • I hear you, Kourtney. Unless I specifically ask for a particular book I would rather pick out my own. An ITunes card would be really helpful. And you don’t have to worry about being given the wrong kind of music!

  16. That Fitbit sounds good. Not a bad price either. 🙂

  17. Music is always good for me. Love writing to it.

  18. These are all great ideas! I think I will print this out and leave it on the fridge for the hubby. Thanks! 🙂

  19. Funny, I just met a writer with a fitbit and I was asking her what it was for. Me, I can’t get enough pens and journals, but I still love me some good old fashioned chocolate. Mmmmm.

  20. I see music mentioned, which is a great one. But if all else failed, for me, you couldn’t go wrong with a bottle of alcohol!


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