Are you stumped this year on gifts for your writer friends? I can help! Choosing gifts for writers may seem like a daunting task, but there are so many essentials and nice-to-haves to choose from.
We’ll Start With Old School.
Moleskine notebooks were good enough for Ernest Hemmingway, and they’ll surely be good enough for your writer. Available in large rule, college rule, blank and graph paper versions, my favorite is graph paper, because graph paper keeps my scribbles as neat as possible, and lends itself to visual as well as text notes, and even helps organize checklists. The soft cover versions are lightweight. For people who keep a notebook handy in their messenger bags, backpacks, etc., the extra protection of the hardcover version might trump the tiny increase in weight.
For the sheer romance of writing, you can’t beat a vintage style travel notebook. These are usually smaller sized notebooks with unlined paper. Find one that’s refillable and it will be a gift that keeps on giving.
Gel point pens are unbeatable for smooth lines and ease of writing. A fine writing instrument is always a welcome addition to a writer’s desk
Glass nib pens offer the feel of a dipped ink pen and a stylish look of past ages. The scratchy sound of the nib on paper will transport you to another century.
I never travel without my own personal lap desk . I’ve wrecked too many power adapters with my laptop perched on my knees. And I use my lap desk daily at home. It gets me away from my isolated work desk and into the shared space of the family room. Writing is an intensely personal endeavor, but it doesn’t always have to be done at a desk.
For a vintage look and built-in storage, consider a wooden schoolhouse-style lap desk. Keep charging cords, notebook pens and other writing necessities organized and right where you need them.
Back to the Future
Make quick backups and restores a snap with a high speed and high capacity USB 3.0 flash drive.
Don’t know whether your favorite writer favors IOS, Android or Windows tablets and phones? Not to worry, many Bluetooth keyboards are compatible with all three operating systems. He or she will be unleashed to write when and where they please.
For even more tablet based writing convenience consider a Bluetooth keyboard with a built-in touchpad.
If your writer doesn’t already use specialized software for writing and publishing, Scrivener is a life-saver. As well as helping to bring the story forth from the recesses of their minds, Scrivener automatically converts manuscripts into an eBook-ready format as well as for uploading to CreateSpace. And, if your writer wants to submit their work to an agent or publisher, those formats are a click away, as well. Microsoft Word has its place, but that place is not a good home for novels and other books. And check out my article on using Scrivener in the revision process.
For writers just starting out, creating their website can be a daunting task. WordPress makes it easy.
If only there were an easy how-to book for novel writing. But, every writer’s journey is an individual and sometimes lonely process. Samuel R. Delany’s “About Writing” is an excellent collection of essays and letters that will provide much food for writerly thought. For more about this book, and how I’ve put some of the tools and techniques to work, see my article about Plot Thickening.
Thoughtful gifts you can’t buy with one click
Your writer friend will eventually need a domain for their author website, and possibly separate domains for some of their books. A gift certificate to purchase a domain name for 2 or 3 years will help them get started on this important task.
And, a domain name is only the first step. Your writer will also need to rent server space. I’m partial to MDD Web Hosting, but there are any number of web hosts out there who specialize in WordPress websites.
What’s on your wishlist? And what do you recommend as gifts for writers?
In the interest of transparency, please note that some of these links are affiliate links.