You have 18 days left until Christmas! Have you finished shopping? Now that I have you in full panic mode, here’s the good news: I’ve got a GIGANTIC writers’ wish list to help you with all your shopping needs for the nerdy wordy peeps in your life! If you are a writer, you have my nudge and blessing to “happen” to share today’s post with a dear friend who may or may not have gotten your gift yet or to “accidentally” leave the post up on your screen to greet your significant other. *wink, wink*
I may be a bit biased, but I think writers—and readers—are some of the easiest and most fun folks to gift! And—more good news—this list doesn’t expire on December 25. Hop back over any time you have a birthday, a holiday, a celebration or a Tuesday! Any time is the perfect opportunity to let someone know you’re thinking about them and love them.
Before I dive in to the goodies, here’s a quick disclaimer for all links to products available through Amazon: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Writers’ Wish List: FUN
Who doesn’t love FUN gifts? Some of these items would be perfect for the readers on your list as well.
- Who doesn’t want to play librarian with this adorable Personal Library Stamping Kit?
- Stamps to mark the books in your personal library like this Custom Book Stamp.
- Literary Coasters like these gorgeous Jane Austen book coasters or these creative library card ones on Etsy.
- Cute desk sets or fun pencil holders. I may have laughed a little too loud at this pencil holder. Et tu, Brute?
- How about a quill pen like this beauty or this Harry Potter one? I’m sure you’ve noticed the gorgeous green quill that turns up in my photos on occasion (*ahem* scroll up for an example). It’s one of the many amazing gifts my sweet husband has surprised me with over the years, and I use it for special projects like cards for him and poems I write for my children.
When you know someone’s favorite book, the sky’s the limit! If you have the time to search (and the money), you could find a first edition if it’s a classic. If they love a more recent book, keep an eye out for book signings near you. A personalized signature in a favorite book from a favorite author might just be the cherry on top of your loved one’s bookshelf!
Other options with a favorite book or author include:
- Jewelry—I did a quick search on etsy.com for my favorite book, The Silmarillion. One of the items that popped up was this gorgeous necklace. This site overflows with unique items, many handmade. See what your favorite book or your friend’s favorite brings up on this site.
- Candles inspired by an author or book character—I had a Hemingway candle once. The scent really made me want to sit down and write! It got broken by a kid or an animal a while back, and I sure do miss it!
- Clothes—My favorite T-shirt has this nod to Hermione Granger on it: “When in doubt, go to the library.”
- Decor—How cute is this fun signpost?
- Bookmarks—Last year my thoughtful hubby bought me some bookmarks from Scotland that include lovely pressed flowers on them. I adore them and have one in the book I’m currently reading!
- Mugs and other drinkware—Get crafty and make your own! One of my favorite stores is the Dollar Tree—everything is still only $1! They have gorgeous drinkware you can write on with paint pens. You should do your research on which pens work best for ceramics or glass and how to make sure your artwork stays in place. FYI: Not all decorations can survive the dishwasher!
- Books, of course! In addition to my suggestions above for classics and favorite current authors, scope out some of the authors they follow on social media. When writers build a writing community, they wish they could buy the books of all their writer friends; however, their budget usually isn’t huge. Watch out for whose work they’re sharing and order those books.
Writers’ Wish List: PRACTICAL
I tend to be a rather practical person, so it’s no wonder this is my longest gift section!
- Writing can be an expensive venture, especially in the early days when a writer is trying to build a business and an author brand or platform and write. Also, if your writer friend is an indie author, many of the costs typically handled by a traditional publisher fall on the author instead. So, consider giving them money for specific business costs, such as:
- Writing or business courses or classes
- Writing conferences
- Submission fees—these can range from just a few dollars on up.
- Cover designs or logo designs
- Websites or website hosting fees
- Professional headshots
- Business cards or other “swag” they can pass out to readers (like bookmarks)
- Writers go through a lot of supplies and require many tools to produce their work. This list is not exhaustive, by any means, but it’s a start! Also, I’ve tried to list them in order from cheapest to most expensive.
- Pens and pencils, Sharpies and highlighters
- Paper: notecards, notebook paper and copier paper
- Journals or notebooks or binders
- Lap desks like this one for your computer or this one for more general writing
- Ink or toner
- Ear buds, noise-cancelling headphones or Bluetooth headphones—I can’t begin to recommend something specific here. I have weird ears and can only use the ear buds that Apple sends out with its iPhones.
- Computer programs such as Scapple and Scrivener, both from Literature and Latte, and Office 365. (Those first two top my list, and I will tell you all about their awesomeness as soon as I have them!)
- A really nice copier … do you have any idea how many pages writers print out?? Also, I’m open to suggestions here because I’m in the market!
- A new tablet or computer
- Chances are your writer likes to create to music. Give them the gift of unlimited listening on sites like Pandora and Spotify.
- If your writer friend is a bit cold-natured, consider a soft, warm blanket like this one for late-night writing on the sofa or fingerless gloves—these caught my eye because I loves thistles—and warm socks like these for late-night typing at the computer.
- Every writer has a list of writing books (AKA craft books) he or she wants on the shelf. This is where you may ask if they have a wish list on Amazon or another site. With a simple link share, you can see all their heart’s desire! While every writer is different, I’m going to share a few suggestions with you that seem to be on most writers’ lists.
- Writer’s Market: This is the go-to for every writer seeking to submit their work. This edition includes extra online support that continues throughout the year. As an annual publication, this resource could become your traditional yearly gift!
- The Emotion Thesaurus and more: Every writer I know loves and appreciates Writers Helping Writers. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have teamed up to produce several thesauri (my preferred pluralization, thank you very much) just for writers. You can’t go wrong with any of them as a gift for your loved one! If I had to pick one, I’d probably go with The Emotional Wound Thesaurus.
- Every book by Joanna Penn!
- If your friend’s favorite author has written a book on writing, that would be a winner. A quick Google search will help you with that one.
- If your friend is a fan of any of the Inklings—J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield or Charles Williams—I HIGHLY recommend The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings. I read this book earlier this year, and it pushed me more than any other book has in terms of seeking to achieve my authorship dreams. In fact, I have a rather gushy blog post about it right here!
- Now, this final suggestion may only cost your time and came as a suggestion to me from an amazing writer mom friend (see below a little more about her!). Guilt-free writing time. That may sound like an odd gift item; but it’s HUGE, especially for those of us with kiddos. Writing takes a LOT of time. And moms, especially, tend to battle guilt constantly because of the time it takes. When families and friends support and believe in their writer’s dreams and goals, this is one of the best gifts they can give. This could be a one-time deal where you agree to watch your friend’s kids for a few hours or a full day. It could be a bit longer of a commitment—little shout of thanks to my selfless hubby who will be watching our little munchkins while my writer friend extraordinaire, Mea Smith, and I escape on a two-night writer’s “retreat” where we will do nothing but write (and eat) for one full day, two half days and the two nights that fall amongst them … can you tell I’m excited? And, finally, this could be the gift that keeps on giving. Find out what their schedule is and offer to help out once a month or even once a week.
Writer’s Wish List: RELAXING
Writing can be a pretty sedentary profession. It can also be quite stressful, thanks to deadlines and the constant battle with self-doubt, the afore-mentioned guilt and so much more. So, writers need serious self-care. Here are a few gift suggestions in this category:
- Massages and/or facials
- Manicures and/or pedicures
- Gym membership or Fitness DVDs
- The Healthy Writer by Joanna Penn—This book is brand new and available for preorder on Kindle, to be auto-delivered December 28.
- Relaxing bath stuff and … for writers like me who cannot just sit there without doing something … a bath table like this one. Oh, and a bath pillow like this cushy one would be a nice add-on! Don’t forget the bubble bath!
- Snacks and drinks to fuel the fire
- Coffee or perhaps a new coffeemaker
- Tea or a tea kettle or other tea accessories
- Snacks—Do you know their favorite?
- A drink to toast a victory … or simply relax. If you really want to splurge, I’m sure someone far wiser than I can advise you on a classy bottle of something special to put up on the shelf and save until they reach a milestone—like a huge book deal with one of The Big 5.
Writers’ Wish List: MEANINGFUL
When you want to head straight for the heart, you have many options. If you happen to be the parent or grandparent of a writer, you may have some of your loved one’s first stories lying around. Gather those little gems up, scan and copy them and put them together in some way. I guarantee your child or grandchild will cherish that gift and appreciate the love and support behind such a keepsake.
Is your friend a published author? Buy their book or books! Give them as gifts to other friends. And, take it one step further. Make sure you and everyone else who reads that book (or books) leave a review on Goodreads, Amazon and every other bookseller’s website. Reviews are the most important gift you can give to a published author. It’s all about ratings and rankings these days; and reviews skyrocket authors above the throngs of available reading options.
If you live in the United States, chances are pretty high that you don’t really need anything. Some of the most meaningful gifts could be those that support causes and organizations your friend cares about. Consider donating in their name. Three of my favorite organizations are:
- Thistle Farms: This organization gives women a second chance at a real, joyful life. They welcome women who are survivors of trafficking, prostitution and addiction and proclaim the message that “Love Heals.” I wear my Love Heals sweatshirt all the time—in fact, it’s on as I’m typing this post. I just purchased a very special item from them that I’ll be giving away soon to one of you!
- Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep: When parents know they have to say goodbye far too soon to a little one, volunteer photographers with NILMDTS step in to capture those few moments the family has to hold their precious babies.
- Savannah Smiles: This is a local organization whose founder is a dear friend of mine. After losing their young daughter in a tragic accident, she and her husband prayed for ways to help other families facing the unfaceable.
Writers’ Wish List: GIFT CARDS
No, this is not a cop-out or thoughtless gift, no matter what your grandmother tells you! Gift cards allow your friend to choose what they need or want the most. Here are my top suggestions for gift cards for your writer friends.
- Favorite bookstores—don’t forget local book shops and secondhand stores like 2nd and Charles
I hope you’re feeling confident about your shopping list now. Maybe you even checked a few items off while reading through! If so, thank you and—just a reminder if you purchased through one of the Amazon links I shared—it won’t cost you any extra; but I used affiliate links for items I would buy and here’s my lovely little disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
A big ol’ THANK YOU to my dear friend Sharon Peterson for some gift suggestions in this incredible list. Check out her blog, including some of her emotions during Hurricane Harvey, and follow her on Twitter! She’s a delight, an encouragement and a doggone good writer. I also got some adorable ideas from one of my forever besties from college, Megan Burns. Girl’s got mad shopping skills, and she’s a pretty rockin’ and supportive friend!
Here’s where I want to hear from YOU! Comment with your all-time favorite gift—writing-related or not. Who’s left on your list? What sits at the top of your wishes this year? Want to buy a book for a loved one, but not sure what? I’d love to try to help! Let me know what they like and what their interests are; maybe I can make a few suggestions!