Writers can be difficult to buy gifts for. Most are not clothes horses, unless you are talking about sweats, socks, and slippers. Many are introverted so tickets to a concert may not be an option. If you’re thinking of shopping for your writer on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, here are a few non-electronic suggestions. Many of these are inexpensive yet thoughtful and can be given together in a basket.
- Pens and other writing implements:
“My writer has plenty of those,” you say. Au contraire. Your writer can never have enough pens, pencils, highlighters, crayons. It is the ultimate tool of the trade and even if your writer drafts on a computer, she is likely to take notes and edit with a pen. Don’t hesitate to include a pencil case with your writing implement. These come in an abundance of designs and materials from serious classy leather ones to funky plastic. You’ll know which one is right for your writer. I blogged about pens two weeks ago, so please feel free to refer to it.
2. Journals and notebooks:
“But he has shelves of notebooks he has yet to use.” Well, that’s because the time hasn’t been right for that particular notebook, but have faith. That day will come. And even if it doesn’t, a stash of notebooks and journals soothes a writer who doesn’t have to fear that when the words come, there will be no place to put them. Most writers love a variety of notebooks and journals in different sizes with plain or beautifully designed covers. Some are lined but more adventurous writers may like blank or dotted pages. The very smell of the paper in a journal may please your writer more than the fragrance of any cologne. My fellow Miss Demeanor, Susan Breen, recently wrote a terrific blog on notebooks that sent me to Etsy where I did some damage to my credit card. Thanks Susan.
3. Stickies, stickers, and notepads:
If you live with a writer, you’ve probably had a wall in your house covered with stickies, post-its, the little pieces of paper with adhesive on the back so that they will stick to other pieces of paper and on walls, etc. Your writer may have written notes on each stickie, which probably made no sense to you. That’s okay, as long as it makes sense to your writer, who is likely plotting a story. Stickies come in wonderful colors. Some are bright, even in fluorescent shades. Others are more tastefully muted, much like Barrow and Fall paint, only much less expensive. They also now come in designer packs with borders with prints like William Morrison. Your writer will love knowing he is prepared to make his next plot board or mark passages in a book with these stickies.
This may seem an obvious gift for a writer, but I find people sometimes shy away from giving a writer a book. “You’re a writer. I wouldn’t know which book to get you,” I’ve heard. Well, to start with, books can be exchanged but most writers read a wide assortment of fiction and non-fiction and are thrilled to get a book of any kind. A vintage volume of anything by Jane Austen will make me swoon. Books on writing always please. Your writer can never have too many books as Marie Kondo had to learn the hard way when she tried to “spark joy” by taking them away from readers and writers. There may have been riots.
5. Lap desks:
Not laptops, lap desks. If your writer is someone on the go who isn’t always at a desk, a lap desk can be a wonderful gift. It’s essentially a platform that sits on the lap of your writer and can have either a laptop or a notebook placed upon it. It makes writing portable and convenient. You can buy plastic or wooden lap desks online, or you can check out vintage ones at antique and thrift stores. I recently landed one that has a drawer with a key to it.
6. Gift Certificates
A gift certificate to a stationary or bookstore allows your writer to indulge in any of the above suggestions and offers the added pleasure of browsing. Throw in an offer to accompany her and take her to lunch and you have the perfect gift.
What I find particularly nice about getting a gift related to my writing is the message it conveys. It says I appreciate what you do and want to honor and support you as a writer. It’s a celebration.
Share what gifts have you have given to a writer or received as a writer so we can add to the list.
C. Michele Dorsey is the author of Oh Danny Girl and the Sabrina Salter series, including No Virgin Island, Permanent Sunset, Tropical Depression, and Salt Water Wounds. Her latest novel, Gone But Not Forgotten was published by Severn House in July 2023.Michele is a lawyer, mediator, former adjunct law professor and nurse, who didn’t know she could be a writer when she grew up. Now that she does, Michele writes constantly, whether on St John, outer Cape Cod, or anywhere within a mile of the ocean