Raise your hand if you’ve been gifted a journal in the past.
I bet you have one arm up — maybe two.
For writers, a fancy pen or notebook is a thoughtful gift, but you may not be the first or the only one with this idea for the writer in your life, so here are some alternative ideas:
For the peripatetic: A laptop case. “It’s been very helpful in preventing damage (and the need for repairs) and keeping the heat of the laptop off me and my stuff when I’m commuting. Also, if you get a classy one, it just makes you feel sexier and more professional,” says Lucas Klauss, author of Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse. He recommends Blackbox to really keep your device safe.
For the networker: Business cards. Jennifer Englert, of the blog Well Read Fish, points out, “In the past couple months, I’ve been asked for my card as a writer and I just sat there twirling my thumbs. ‘Yeah, uh… I don’t have business cards.’ But now I do, and they’re great to get your name out there.”
For the procrastinator: The Write or Die app & a wireless iPad keyboard. Lauren Morrill, author of the young adult novel Meant to Be, can’t say enough about her iPad mini, which she uses all the time to write — hence the need for a keyboard to help her thoughts flow. As she notes, “With its super-long battery life, it’s the perfect writing tool, and Write Or Die is the perfect kick-in-the-pants for any procrastinating writer. Meet your goals or the app starts deleting your work!”
For the knowledge hungry: A subscription to Poets & Writers. Jennifer Englert recommends the publication not only for its excellent articles on improving one’s craft, but also for its “comprehensive lists of contests and magazines taking submissions.”
For the avid reader: A gift card to a local independent store as well as a case for one’s device of choice are all good options. Alternatively, if you know the writer in your life’s favorite author, look into getting him or her a signed book via Abe Books or eBay.
For the next best seller: Many self-published authors have incredible talent for writing, but don’t necessarily have a knack for graphic design or eBook formatting. Let them focus their energy at what they’re best at (writing) by providing them with professional services to handle the rest.
At the end of the day, there’s one thing all writers (and non-writers) want, which freelance writer Gabrielle Balkan so bluntly put as, “More hours in the day!” Failing that, hopefully the above are helpful, and if you have your own suggestions for great writerly gifts, please add them below.