It’s that time of the year again. Time for holiday shopping!
The task can be daunting. There are so many options out there that it seems easier to buy gift cards for your loved ones and call it a day.
This is especially true with the writer/entrepreneur in your life. What do you buy for a person who sits on their computer all day? A new desk? A new computer? Not a great way to show you care. How’d that vacuum you bought your mother work out for your family?
We’re a fickle bunch, but we like things that will make our lives easier.
Get creative — the people you are buying presents for are! Here are 16 gifts you can get the writer or entrepreneur in your life:
Chances are, the writer or entrepreneur in your life loves to read. But, if they’re busy, they might not always have the time to sit down and focus on a written book. Audiobooks are a great solution. Have a specific book in mind for them? You can go to the Audible website and purchase a specific audiobook for your friend. Or, you can always give them a monthly membership so they can pick out books for themselves, available in 3 month, 6 month, or 12 month gift memberships, for $150 or less.
Does your friend have a book in the works, but no idea know how to proceed? Show them how much you believe in them by getting in a professional to help them polish everything to pitch their manuscript to agents and publishers, or prepare to self-publish. A meeting about their book will not only let them know you care about their progress, but it will also help them understand what to do next, and spark some serious inspiration to get the book finished and out into the world. There’s lots of services that will help out with this, but we’ve heard great things about Jane Friedman’s fiction and non-fiction packages.
A lot of writers like to free-hand their stories, blog posts, and articles. Unfortunately, these days everything is done through word processing programs and PDFs. If your loved one is having a hard time bridging the divide, get them a Moleskin Smart Writing Set. This set is a system made up of three objects – the special Paper Tablet notebook, the smart Pen+ and a companion App – that enables your favorite writer or doodler to digitally edit and share what they create on paper in real-time without taking a photo, uploading files, or scanning documents
Some people say we get our best ideas while we’re in the shower. That’s why Aqua Notes was invented. Aqua Notes is a waterproof notepad that is specifically designed for those mid-shower waves of brilliance. This would be a great stocking stuffer, small gift for a friend, or Secret Santa present.
Now, you may be thinking, “Tea? What a generic gift,” but hear me out. These teas are better than your average Twinings. They are themed by classic novels and come in book-shaped tins that you can display on your kitchen shelf. Some flavors include War and Peach, The Picture of Earl Grey, and Don QuixoTea. This is a unique twist on a solid holiday gift.
Writers and entrepreneurs aren’t immune to clumsy moments, and when most of our time is spent in front of the computer, that can spell disaster for our electronics. A portable, washable keyboard can be your solution for your loved one’s unfortunate accidents. Spilled coffee? Fried chicken crumbs? Ice cream? Anything that gets caught between the keys can easily be washed away – and it won’t cost your loved one hundred of dollars to replace.
Everyone loves bubble wrap. Whenever there is a package at your doorstep, you know you’ll spend at least five minutes stepping on the bubbles and popping them with delight. Well, there’s a calendar made of bubble wrap, and it’s the perfect gift to bring out your loved one’s inner child. They can feel the joy of popping a bubble every day of the year. Plus, every writer/entrepreneur needs a calendar to know what day it is. We lose track of time a lot. Which makes for more bubbles to pop!
Remember that thing I said about sitting in front of the computer all day? Your loved one most likely doesn’t do that wearing a three-piece suit. Find the comfiest pair of pants and package that shit up for your writer/entrepreneur friend. But why stop there? Get them the comfiest outfit you can find, cardigan and all. Believe me, they’ll practically live in your gift for the next 3-6 months.
On the more humorous end of the gift spectrum is the executive decision making paperweight. Is the writer/entrepreneur in your life bad at making decisions? Whether it’s about a business prospect or what to eat for dinner, I think we all wish we had someone or something to tell us yes or no sometimes. This paperweight has eight possible outcomes, from yes and no, to sit on it or reorganize. It’s sure to make your friend’s life a whole lot simpler.
If your friend has a business idea, but needs help with the planning, business planning software might be just what they need to make those dreams become a reality. Programs like LivePlan and BizPlanBuilder offer intuitive and easy to use interfaces, with examples and guides to help plan a business. These programs also track metrics after a business has launched, helping to adapt and grow plans with your company.
Does your loved one have terrible posture? Most writer/entrepreneurs do. We sit at our desk all day, hunched over our computers, typing the hours away. With this portable posture support, they’ll be able to give their back muscles some love while continuing the work they love. Plus, they can take it with them wherever they go. So, whether they’re working at home, at a co-working place, or on the road, they won’t be uncomfortable.
With your loved one working non-stop, they might not think too much about having fun. Gifting them word games, like Scrabble or Bananagrams, will exercise their minds while also reminding them to let loose every once in awhile. If those aren’t unique enough, we’ve got you covered. Papercuts is like Cards Against Humanity, but with literature and writing. Contribute to their Kickstarter and get it for your loved one when it comes out. Yottsugo is another unique game that operates similar to Scrabble, but challenges the player to create interlocking grids of words.
We all know the struggle of a dead phone. If a portable charger is just too much of a hassle, the Seyvr wallet combines their charger and wallet into one. The Seyvr wallet holds up to 6 cards, has a money clip and a phone charger that’s compatible with Androids and Iphone 5 and up, and is made of high quality leather. If your friend is constantly on the go, they might really appreciate the gift of power. Heck, you might just want to buy one for yourself!
Writer/Entrepreneurs often forget what day it is, forget what time it is, and forget that meals are necessary to stay alive. Get them the gift of nourishment with a food assortment from Olive & Cocoa. They have delicious options for all preferences. Sweet, savory, spicy. You name it. My personal favorite is the rocky road popcorn. It combines sweet and salty, and is definitely going on my holiday gift list.
The first is for the desk-ridden writer/entrepreneur who still wants to stay active. An elliptical machine for under their desk allows them to keep churning out those blogs and marketing funnels while also peddling their way to a healthier lifestyle. It goes right under their desk and doesn’t make a lot of noise. Plus, it’s lightweight, so your loved one can bring it anywhere.
If you want to really surprise your writerly loved one, then get them a vintage typewriter. Most writers secretly wish they had one. We all want to be like Hemingway, bleeding words over our typewriters while drunk on gin (well, maybe not that last part). A beautiful, vintage (but still working) typewriter might be hard to find, though. Check Etsy and Ebay for the best deals. If you manage to find one, your loved one will cherish it forever.
So that’s it, our 16 writer and entrepreneur gift recommendations for the 2016 holiday season. We hope that you surprise your loved one with something they truly enjoy.
If you’re a writer or entrepreneur who has friends and family who struggle to buy you gifts, do them a favor and share this list. Not only will you make shopping easier for them, but you’ll get something you truly want. That’s a win-win in our book.
Erika Rasso graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in English and marketing and is currently working on her MFA in Screenwriting at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has worked as a writing consultant, an editor for a literary journal, and an editor for an academic journal. In her free time, Erika enjoys writing short stories and screenplays (though mostly she just watches WAY too many shows on Netflix). She is the Director of Production for Craft Your Content.