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Every holiday season, I see the same listicles: Ultimate holiday gift guide! Best gifts for women under 30 (whatever that means)! Sparkly gift ideas for the unicorn lover/Star Wars fan/scuba instructor in your life!
Since I’m a writer (as are many of my friends) I often find myself Googling “gifts for writers” around holidays and birthdays. And every list—every single one—has some kitschy mug with a snarky phrase: “Don’t bother me, I’m writing.” “I’m a writer; what’s your superpower?” “Don’t disturb the writer, or she’ll put you in her story and then kill you.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good kitschy mug. The proof: my shelves are full of them! But the truth is, I don’t need another. And most of my writer friends don’t either. (For the record, we’re also fully stocked on notebooks.)
So here’s your “ultimate holiday gift guide” for the writer in your life—sans mug.
1. For the writer who’s always cold:
Keep those typing hands toasty with literary writing gloves. Storiarts has a bunch of designs, but my personal favorites are The Raven, Alice in Wonderland, and Frankenstein.
2. For the writer who gets her best ideas in the shower:
I mean, we’ve all been there. Give your writer a way to bring those great ideas out of the bathroom and onto the page with a waterproof notebook.
3. For the writer who’s serious about getting published:
While many authors choose to self-publish, those looking to go the traditional publishing route would find Writer’s Digest’s annual Writer’s Market guide extremely useful. WD also carries more specific editions, including Poet’s Market, Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market, and Guide to Literary Agents.
4. For the writer who’s always on the go:
All you really need to write is a keyboard, so help your favorite traveling author to write on the move with a bluetooth keyboard they can connect to their phone.
5. For the writer who’s constantly getting distracted:
This is another portable keyboard option—one that eliminates all the distractions of a phone or computer (perfect for the writer who tends to fall down the Internet Rabbit Hole). Freewrite has been making distraction-free writing tools for years, but their new Traveler edition is much more compact—and are currently being sold at a discount (I’ve written about the gadget here). They’re so new they’re only available for preorder, but your distraction-prone writer will definitely appreciate your forward thinking!
6. For the writer who’s always correcting your grammar:
We all have that friend. Give them apparel that expresses love for their favorite controversial comma, and they will feel absolutely, 100% seen.
7. For the writer who’s a bit of a pyromaniac:
Everyone’s got a candle that smells like old books—what about a candle that smells like burning ones? With smells of scorched paper, smoke, and leather, this Fahrenheit 451-inspired candle is sure to satisfy the writer with a slight destructive instinct. (And lets face it: most writers are, by nature, at least somewhat destructive.)
8. For the writer who works from home:
Even when they have to hop on a video call, no one will suspect a thing. Keep your work-from-home writer comfy with these Poe-ka-dot boxers from Out of Print.
9. For the writer who keeps beating you at Scrabble:
Let your writer showcase their love for their favorite nerdy game with Scrabble tile magnets—and pick up a set for yourself so you can practice for that inevitable rematch.
10. For the writer who’s always looking for new story ideas:
Two cards get you a story idea—over 500 cards get you trillions! Whether you play solo or in a group, the Storymatic game offers a fun way to get the creative wheels turning. You never know what ideas might emerge!
If you give a writer one of these gifts, let us know how much they loved it! If you don’t—well, I suppose you could always give them a mug.
Know the gift that’s totally free? A subscription to the My Writing Hero mailing list! Stay up to date on all things writerly by subscribing here.