Buying gifts for writers can be easy. Most people simply buy us books or give us gift certificates to book stores, which is perfectly fine. I love buying books, supporting my fellow writers, and helping out local bookstores.
Of course, that can also become repetitious and you may want to do something different for your favorite writer this year. So with that in mind, I thought I’d share a few suggestions for alternative gifts for the wordsmith in your life.
One thing I want to suggest first, however, is to make sure you know your writer. What I mean is, not all writers are alike. It’s easy to think, “Oh, I’ll buy them a book!” But what kind of book? What genre? Do they prefer physical books or ebooks?
Same thing with journals. Not all writers keep journals, and those that do often have a preference when it comes to which kind they like.
In other words, do your research!
As an alternative idea, consider getting them something creative, but different. For example, you could get them a jigsaw puzzle. Puzzles are a great way to exercise the brain, provide an interesting distraction from the writing process, and in the case of jigsaw puzzles, they end up with something pretty to look at on their dining room table. Just be sure to get one that will appeal to them aesthetically and isn’t going to drive them crazy trying to finish.
Music is always a good idea, as well. If the writer in your life listens to CDs or vinyl, take a look at their collection or start a discussion on music with them. Most writers like to have music playing when they write, so giving them something new to listen to can help to stimulate their creativity.
This may sound silly, but food is always a good option. A gift basket of snacks they can munch on while writing would probably be appreciated. Also, teas and coffees are a safe bet. Again, do your research to make sure you’re getting them something they’ll enjoy. Some people love herbal teas, whereas others only drink black or green teas. Something warm to drink and an easy snack have gotten me through many late-night writing sessions.
And finally, consider giving the writer in your life some of your time and attention. Writing is a solitary endeavor, with long hours spent alone with a pen and paper or a laptop, so little distractions and activities with someone who cares can do a lot of good. Consider giving them a coupon book for walks in the park with you, or free beta reading, or a once-a-week dinner together.
While it’s not the most expensive gift you can give, offering up your time and attention can mean the world to a writer.
Hope this helps!