My First 'Writerly' Gift
When I had first began to write seriously, my partner bought me a gift. A kindle. A Kindle Paperwhite.
He'd taken the time to research what was best for reading, what came without the colour and backlighting that makes so many devices hard to read. He wanted me to read more, so that I would be inspired to write more.
It was perfect. Personal, thoughtful, researched, to celebrate the start of my life as a writer.
How to Give Thoughtfully
And do I use it?
I do. Not all the time. I shift between 'real' books and electronic books depending on the book, how I feel and whether I'm travelling. (we talk about this on Facebook from time to time!) I still cherish the experience of a real book.
He wanted to give me something symbolic, and that's what matters. The thoughtful gift will always top the expensive or the showy.
If you're buying something for the writer in your life, don't think about how much you're spending, think about how much they will appreciate it.
The perfect gift is something he or she can use again and again; it needs to be practical, but innovative. Not something they can pick up on their monthly trip to Staples, but still something that will score prime position on their desk or in their bag. It doesn't need to be expensive.
Best Gift Ideas for Writers
We give gifts at all times of the year. For birthdays, for anniversaries, for starts, for completions, and for no reason at all. But, as a certain season approaches, your thoughts might be turning to what you can put under the tree for the writer or aspiring author in your life.
And if you're the writer in your own life, then print out this article, add some judicious highlighting, and leave it around the house for your special someone to find!
Gifts For All Budgets
1. A Premium Wordpress Theme
It may not be the first thing you think of as a gift, but nothing says classy like having a premium theme on a website or Wordpress blog. It’s the 21st century equivalent to a leather bound notebook, but with more variety.
A premium theme is a paid theme that is more design-led, is cleaner, more functional and more user-friendly than the free themes -- they are definitely worth the money.
When you’re buying for a friend, do the research and make sure your gift suits their personal or business needs. There is no end of choice at themeforest, while WPExplorer and colorlib give good roundups of the best premium themes for writers.
2. A Meditation Class
One return of the gifting favour to my partner that he particularly enjoyed was beginner's yoga intensive.
Writing takes a lot of thinking, and beginning writers can put a lot of unnecessary stress on themselves about word count and "is it good enough?", especially if they're doing it on top of a full-time job or business.
Meditation is the perfect relaxation activity for writers, because not only does it quiet the mind, it also gives them a creative edge.
If you know a writer who seems like they could do with a bit of mindful relaxation, why not buy them a month or a year's worth of meditation classes? Relaxing your way into their next big thought is the best gift you can give.
3. A Notebook Attached to the Cloud
Writers have a tendency to scribble thoughts down on odd bits of paper that mysteriously disappear before they ever get filed and used.
Help your writer friend organise their thoughts with the gift of a Mod, a notebook that’s attached to the cloud.
Much more practical than your regular moleskin notebook, your writer friend can enjoy the pleasure of a notebook (who doesn't love writing by hand!) with the practicality of saving those notes to be scanned and synched with their Evernote or Dropbox.
This one seems like the perfect writer innovation.
I can't go into a bookshop without loading my arms and adding to my credit card bill. It's like an addiction second only to my impatience for the new series of Sherlock. And I do not know a writer who does not appreciate the gift of books. And, if you buy them the right book, you are giving the perfect gift.
5. Kindle Unlimited
Budget: $10 a month
In the 'old' days, there was the magazine subscription. Still a respectable present -- especially if it showcases good writing, like Granta or The New Yorker -- but why not give your friend an unlimited amount of reading?
A Kindle Unlimited subscription gives the holder access to over 1 million book titles, plus audio books, so he or she can pick and choose their own gift from you, every single day.
Maybe you could drop a hint to my partner about this one...
6. Writing Software
Budget: Free, upwards
If your writer friend is in the frustrating stages of putting their book together, than we have the perfect gift to brighten their day – and we don't mean Microsoft Word!
Give him or her the gift of organisation, chapter planning, and ease of mind of backups by purchasing one of our top picks of writing software.
Look for the latest versions releases to make sure that they are up to date and wrap it all up in a lovely card or stocking filler.
7. Running shoes...
...or a yoga mat, a skipping rope, a book of local walks, an activity tracker, or some other simple exercise equipment or incentive. It doesn’t matter which, just something to prise your friend away from that unhealthy hunch, away from their desk, into the fresh air, and exercising every once in a while.
Not only does regular exercise keep us fit and extends our life expectancy, it’s also proven to have significant positive effects on our memory – now that’s a priceless gift that they won’t forget any time soon!
(OK, sorry, terrible pun!)
8. A Journal
A journal might seem so obvious that most people completely overlook it when thinking for the perfect gift for writers. But, it’s a good choice, and here’s why.
Keeping a journal is a creative release, it will help improve their writing, and teach them to tap into their emotional intelligence by writing about personal challenges.
For just a small book with a few hundred blank pages, I’d say that’s a pretty good buy.
9. An App
Are you all the way down here and still have no idea what to get for your friend, the writer? Don’t worry, there’s an app for that.
But seriously, apps are great budget gift options for writers who are also tech savvy (as we should all be).
From productivity apps such as 30/30, to apps that help with your creativity, ideas, and note taking, there is literally an app for every problem your writer friend needs to find a solution to.
You knew this would be here somewhere -- after all, coffee is a writer’s best friend, right? And if you can’t beat it, indulge in it.
Well, new research from America’s top nutrition panel has even confirmed every writer’s dream – copious amounts of coffee is actually good for you.
So go on, get them a nice new percolator, a fresh bag of organic beans carefully sourced (and don't forget to include the story that comes with them), or a lifetime’s supply of gift cards from their favourite neighbourhood café.
What's On Your Gift List?
Yes, writers can be fussy people to buy for, but when you get the gift right, they will love you for it.
Anything that helps make their tasks easier is always going to be a winner, and the growing tech choices make this an easy present, while a personalised hand-made gift will still bring a smile to most writers faces.
And yes, feel completely free to share this on your Facebook page in the hope that a friend will glimpse it in time for Christmas or your next birthday.
You never know...
Written with love by,
Author Unlimited Editorial Team
What are your favourite gifts for writers? What has give you most joy to give, and to receive? And is it the gift, or the thought, that really matters?