It’s officially the 2019 holiday season and, let me guess, you are probably racking your brain to figure out the perfect gift for writers in your life.
Sure, there’s the conventional Moleskine notebook or items of jewelry that feature various typewriters or really fancy bookmarks. But, come on, you want to buy them something that will be not only helpful, but fun too.
Imagine, it might even give them just the push they need to get that novel finished—turning you into a fairy godmother of sorts. Or it might allow them the space to turn off their writer’s brain and actually relax for five minutes.
But what do you buy for a writer, if you aren’t a writer yourself?
Have no fear; help is near. I’m here to dish out some of our favorite writer gifts for this year.
And hey, if you are a writer who always gets the same old writing gifts, and you’d love something new … well, pass this article along to the gift givers in your life!
I was looking for a new daily writing practice journal this summer, bored with the same old writing and inner monologue prompts. I stumbled across this journal, and oh, how it delivered. A definite NSFW indulgence against the very woo “find your inner peace” or pro-hustle “set out to crush your goals, GO!” exercises in the genre. I can officially say that I am not always, but more often than before, Zen AF.
Boo-hoo, being a writer is so hard. As Hemingway once said, there’s nothing to it—you just have to sit at a typewriter and bleed. What’s worse, we are usually doing this in isolation, and then dealing with critics and internet trolls when we finally pour our guts out for the world to tear apart. It’s old-school, but a weekly piece of actual posted mail, reminding the writer in your life why they are great and matter to you, will be a lovely moment in their day.
Literary Tattoos ($12)
Maybe the writer in your life is an adventurous type … or totally not adventurous, but wants to be. Give them a taste of the thrill (or just let them have some fun) with these temporary literary tattoos. Who knows? Perhaps this will be the push they need to finally commit to some permanent skin ink (I have three and am always planning my next!).
Yes, notebooks are a mainstay for many writers. For those who aren’t constantly recording with finger tapping and dragging in their digital devices, these blank pages can be filled with scribbles of potential and mind-mapping. Especially if you are trying to keep the writer in your life away from their digital devices. These notebooks are a bit more special, made from the covers of classics.
Blue light is rough on the retinas (or other eye parts—hey, I’m not a trained optometrist here!) and one of the greatest culprits of the assault is our device screens. So, for a writer staring at a bright white screen all day long, that’s a lot of eye strain. Rather than getting a program that messes with the color settings on my laptop, I got these sexy little unisex eyeglasses from Dollger. There’s no prescription with this frame, so if your writer needs some extra magnification or clarity, I like the site Firmoo.
Writing Patents Wall Art ($19)
I’m always on the lookout for unique pieces of wall art that I could hang around my someday office, beyond the usual motivational posters and landscape photography that I often default to. When I stumbled onto this series, which features the patent applications for different devices in various industries, I had to find if they had one for writing and publishing. Get your writer these beauties: a “type writing machine,” pencil sharpener, [mechanical] pencil, and fountain inkwell.
Video Backdrop ($19)
OK, this one sounds weird, but trust me. Whether the writer in your life is taking client calls, hosting webinars, or getting interviewed about their newest best-seller on CNN (goals!)—they are going to want to have a good background in their video camera screen. Especially if they are doing it from their laundry room. This backdrop, available with a number of different prints, could give them the extra professional boost without having to remodel their whole space. (Thanks to CYC Content Writer Caroline Johnson for suggesting this one!)
$25 to $100
Purchase on Urban Outfitters
Rekonect Magnetic Notebook ($30; $39 if you include refill pages)Do you know a writer who carefully tries to tear the pages out of their bound notebooks? It isn’t easy. Words get lost in the binding grip, and your notebook gets ruined. If the writer in your life is forever writing lists or outlines they need to tear out, this notebook of magnetic pages might be the perfect solution.
Cute Retro Desk Fan ($40)
You wouldn’t think that a writer has an airflow problem. Until you consider my earlier comment of sitting at a desk and never moving, and what that means for the air—especially if they are in a small office or writing space. Plus, that little laptop can give off some serious heat signatures if you’ve been working at it for a while, with 8 million research tabs open. This perfectly sized retro desk fan gives a nice flow of fresh air. Just make sure to get a paperweight, too, if they have any analog desk accoutrements. Otherwise … yikes!
Sunrise Alarm Clock ($50)
For many writers, getting up at the crack of dawn to get their writing done is a necessity to get their words in before the demands of the day eat up their time. But getting up at that time is a challenge. If only we could go back to the days when we rose with the sun; and with this alarm clock, we can! It’s programmed to slowly deliver a natural sunlight glow to your writer’s bedroom, and allow them to glide out of bed and skip to their writing desk to get work done. At least I assume that is how it will play out.
Leather Messenger Bag ($65)
I got this bag for Christmas last year (thanks, Mom & Dad!) and it is easily one of my most commented on accessories ever used. Durable as anything, it gives a bit of a more professional look to any writer hustling from meeting to meeting and wanting to bring their stuff with them. Seriously, you can see everything I fit in this bag in the pic to the left! Tweed blazer with corduroy elbow pads optional.
Timeular - Physical Time Tracker ($84 for one year, $299 for lifetime tracking)
A number of writers track their time for a number of reasons. They need to tell clients where they spent hours, they are doing writing sprints to get drafts finished, they’re timing a revision with a load of laundry … the reasons are endless. While many use stopwatches on their phone or apps on their computer, this is a lovely geometric desk accessory with a physical action to remind them of what they are accomplishing as they whittle away the hours. (Thanks to Jess Tyson at Don’t Panic Management for this suggestion!)
The Acadian Fountain Pen ($130-$200)Hand-crafted by a woodsman in Maine, these one-of-a-kind pens will be writing utensils that the writer in your life will cherish each time they use one. Plus, I’m a total sucker for an actual fountain pen nib, so just looking at all these pictures makes me swoon. (Tip: Consider the ballpoint pens if you want a fancy—but slightly less expensive—version from $25–$85.)
Literary Subscription Services ($30/month – $330/year)
Writers become better writers by reading other writers. It’s a weird self-licking ice cream cone of creativity. You could get them a book, and their writer’s heart will go pitter-pat. To keep that feeling going, though, you could get them a whole box of writing presents monthly or even hand-selected literary journals. Check out these ones if you are looking for some ideas:
2019 Holiday Shopping for Writer Gifts Sorted!
And there you have it.
Plenty of ideas that aren’t the same old gifts to get the writer in your life, to let them know you support them and their work this holiday season.
It might seem silly, but showing a writer that you believe in their writing, whether through a quirky book of tattoos or a gorgeous hand-crafted wood fountain pen, will make a world of difference to them.
Writers are questioning themselves and their talent on a daily basis. To know someone out there is in their corner … that will be the greatest gift of all.Want some ideas from previous years? You can check out our guides from 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018!