Life can be lonely and overwhelming for a writer and sometimes the smallest gesture of friendship can mean the world. So this holiday season, if you’re looking for a way to show your best writer friends you love ’em, here are some gifts that are especially lovely for writers!
1. Writing craft books for their bookshelf
When you’re trying to finish your first (or fifteenth) book, even when you’ve got great critique partners, it can feel really overwhelming. An overwhelmed writer is an ineffective writer. I’ve seen it in myself and I’ve seen it in dozens of other writers on #writergram.
Sometimes, stepping back from the words you look at every day can be the spark you need to get the right words flowing again, but sometimes you need a little more inspiration. Maybe a subplot feels tangly, or you’ve written yourself into a morass of tarry plot quicksand. In those times, I like to take a little while to read craft books. Sometimes, all it takes is another author framing a narrative device a certain way for me to go ‘Ah ha!’ and immediately solve the problem I was struggling with.
I’ve read a TON of writing craft books, and there are a few that have really stood the test of time for me. Pick any of these up for your favorite writer friend and they won’t be disappointed.
- Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody
- The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know by Shawn Coyne
- Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction by Larry Brooks
- Write Your Novel From the Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between by James Scott Bell
- The Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing by David Morrell
2. Spotify or Pandora subscription
Tell me what writer you know who doesn’t need to just shut the door, blast some music, and get words written sometimes.
Now, some people work better with sound and some people work better with total silence, but I guarantee you that regardless of their work style, your writing friend likes to rock out to shake off some stress sometimes. Secondary characters can be brutal!
Give them the gift of music with a Pandora or Spotify subscription.
Pandora is only $4.99/month and Spotify is $9.99/month or $4.99/month for students.
3. A plane ticket to see you for the holidays
Striking out on your own can be really tough, and writing can be really lonely, especially around the holidays. There’s a good chance your writer friend would really love to be able to see you for the holidays, without the debilitating stress of wondering how she’ll afford it.
Why not book her a flight home for the holidays? Southwest always has great prices and good service. Don’t forget about the discount sites like Kayak and Expedia, too. When you’re looking for gifts for writers, sometimes the best one can’t fit in a box.
4. Indoor herb garden
I hate cooking. (That’s why I got married, ba-dum-cha.) How about your overworked, overwhelmed writer friend? She’s been writing all day, slaying, hustling, probably working another job or going to school as well, and all she has in her fridge is leftover cauliflower crust pizza and a can of Trader Joe’s pinto beans in the cabinet.
Help her put together a more inspiring dinner with some rosemary and thyme. Plus, the scents from herbs like rosemary, mint, sage, and lavender have aromatherapy benefits and she’ll get a little mental lift every time she walks by. It’s been proven that aromatherapy helps mental focus and happiness—both of which writers need!
You can pick one of these up from your local garden center or buy a kit online.
Has this post given you some great ideas? Join me on the regular! ⤵
5. Watch their pets (or kids) while they go out of town ?
A weekend away to unwind is good for all of us, but writers who’ve been typing away all day, with only a laptop for company, might be especially in need since we often work from home. If your writer friend has kids and works from home, she could probably use a day or two to herself or with her partner.
An offer to watch the kids for the night or the pets for a weekend could be just what she needs. And the bonus is that you get to play with cute baby animals or baby people for a few days, then give them back.
- Try buying a nice card and putting a babysitting or pet-sitting “coupon” inside
- Or send them an email card with Smilebox!
6. The Magic of I planner and journal
After months of making magic with our words, we writers need a little magic in our own lives, too. Oh, and we also need planners. Many, many planners. That’s why I love the Magic of I planner (and matching journal, which you can get as a discounted bundle!).
The Magic of I planner has so many amazing features—everything from astrological “best days” for different activities to a menstrual tracker, yearly goals and intentions, weekly ‘brain dump’ sections, and so on. It’s one of the best designed planners I’ve found, and it’s beautiful, too! The front cover is butter soft with metallic embossing, and it comes in several colors.
If you get your writer friend one of these babies, they’ll love you forever!
- Magic of I planner and journal bundle
7. Kindle Unlimited so they can read more books “for research”
It’s so easy to forget that there is life outside of work. Make sure your person takes some time for themself. Reading is an amazing way to escape real life craziness—and real life writing burnout—for a while, but sometimes you just don’t know what to read.
With Kindle Unlimited, you can choose from over 1 million books to read, plus thousands of audiobooks — and you can read or listen to as many as you want. You don’t need a Kindle device to use it; it can be accessed from any computer or mobile device with an app.
I subscribe to this and I love it — especially for commuting, waiting at the doctor’s office, and travel.
8. Trapeze school, cooking classes, pottery making, pole dancing, or another fun class to get them away from their laptop for an hour ?
Sometimes, you just need to force writers to put the laptop down, get out of the house, and do something fun to remind them that there’s more to life than work. And we writers love a good experience over a ‘thing’ (because we can use it in our next book!), so classes are doubly fun for us!
You can search for “fun classes” + your town to find something fun for you and your writing friend to do together. When I searched where I live, I found so many amazing options! I’m going to sign up for at least three!
A handful of the classes I found available in my area:
- Underwater pole dancing
- Wine tasting
- Cooking lessons
- American Sign Language
- Home staging/interior design
- Stained-glass making
- Jewelry making
- Fabric dying
- Hand dancing
9. Air plant for their writing cave to make it more hygge
Air plants are great for entrepreneurs for 4 reasons:
- Very little care required — writers are busy writing
- Decorative — writers need something to look at other than Scrivener
- Improves air quality — writers often forget to come up for air
- Reminds you that there is a world outside your office — see above
I struggle even keeping a ficus alive, so cacti and air plants are my decor of choice. They’re aesthetically pleasing, you don’t have to remember to water them, they pump out oxygen and help clean your air, and when you are in your darkest of Dark Writing Nights of the Soul, they remind you that the world is a big, beautiful place.
If you’d like to support some small businesses, I found a number of beautiful options on Etsy:
- Set of 3 Air Plants in Metallic-painted Sea Urchin Shells
- Small Air Plant Terrarium Kit / Wonky Wonderland
- Tillandsia Air Plant in Polished Malachite Specimen
10. Maid service so they can feel less guilty about the mess and finish their book
Oh my gosh, how I would love a maid service some days. Not for the big — I won’t let a house get too messy — but for the details. I just don’t have the headspace for mopping, dusting, cleaning bathtubs, and degreasing stoves, but man does it make me frustrated when they need to be cleaned!
And I’d bet a lot of writers feel the same—it can be so hard to focus on your writing when every time you look over you see a cluttered countertop or a dusty bookshelf.
And man oh man, how nice it is to have a sparkling white bathtub!
A monthly or quarterly detail-cleaning for your writing would not go unappreciated. Check around for local maid services and look for good, genuine reviews and clear pricing!
11. A Virtual Assistant to do their book promo so they can get off Insta and back to writing
We all have talents and passions, and those are probably what got you in the biz to begin with. But running a writing business takes more than the “fun stuff” to work. It takes marketing, accounting, and other things we’d like to forget about. But it still has to be done, and there’s a good chance your writer friend is doing it herself.
No matter what stage of her author career she’s in, she’s probably doing more than her mental health would prefer.
A virtual assistant can be a great asset. Just a few hours a week could make the difference between being overwhelmed and being able to focus on her writing passion with clarity.
You can get a virtual assistant for a number of tasks, including:
- Book promo
- Social media copy and scheduling
- Graphics design
- Customer service
- Tech stuff
And a hundred other things. Look around and fight the right virtual assistant — they all have different specialties. Prices vary, but expect to pay around $20-$30+ an hour for most jobs.
12. Plotting, Publishing, & Platform Project Management with yours truly
This one’s a little self plug, but I wouldn’t promote it if I didn’t believe in it! I love helping indie authors make their writing and publishing dreams a reality.
Plotting, Publishing, & Platform Project Management (P3PM) is my speciality: project management for writers. I help frustrated aspiring authors get from “what’s wrong with my book??” to “ahh, my book looks beautiful on my bookshelf!”
That’s all I’ve got for you this year. What would you add to the list for your favorite writer friend? Lemme know it comments and please share this post with all the writers you like!