If you’re looking for a gift for the special writer in your life, you can skip the funny T-shirt or the coffee mug with a motivational quote this time. Most writers need practical things that won’t cost you a dime and earn you endless gratitude. I revisited last year’s list and tweaked it, rounding up eight gift ideas to wrap up 2018.
Top 8 Gifts
#1 The gift of time: This is the number one item on my wish list every year, and most writers probably want the same thing. Uninterrupted writing, even just for a few hours, is my definition of heaven! If you can give just one thing, volunteer to babysit or run errands for your writer.
#2 Assistant for the day: This is directly related to #1. Perhaps your writer is doing research about the Great Depression for his work in progress. Maybe he’s looking for writing contests to enter in 2019. Volunteer for a task or two that Amazon Alexa can’t do.
#3 The gift of company: Most writers enjoy working alone, but it can get lonely at times. Invite your writer to his or her favorite restaurant. As an alternative, you can take a long walk or a short run, then sit down for brunch or even just coffee. You get the idea—spend quality time together.
#4 Access to special resources. Your writer could always use professional support and resources. A subscription to a writing magazine (e.g., Writer’s Digest, Publishers Weekly) or an online information service (Publishers Marketplace, Literary Marketplace) or a literary journal will go a long way. You could also give the gift of membership if your writer is part of an association such as the Authors Guild or Romance Writers of America or Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. There’s a group for just about every genre.
#5 Don’t forget food (and booze, if applicable). I’ve said this before. I sometimes forget to eat when I’m writing. So don’t forget to feed the writer in your life! This is also related to #3. If you don’t have the budget to dine out, you can always cook for your writer. It can be as simple as finally using your Panini grill and that special wine glass for some bubbly. If all else fails, pick a restaurant gift card.
#6 Offer moral support: Writing is full of rejections, disappointments, and uncertainties. Take the time to offer some encouragement through something palpable like an old-fashioned letter or a handmade card. Better yet, record a short video message with your smartphone.
#7 Write an online review and interact on social media . If your writer has a published book or short story, one of the nicest things you can do is to read the work and write an honest review online. Reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, or on literary websites and other platforms can influence casual browsers to buy a book or read a short story. While you’re at it, share your review on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and social media to help generate some buzz.
If your writer has yet to publish a book, show your support through interactions on social media. Most aspiring writers have a blog. Leave comments, “like” the posts, and “follow” your writer.
#8 Buy a book. Buying a good book is a reward in itself, but since we’re talking about gifts, you could buy a copy of your writer’s book and give it to someone else. If your writer is unpublished, buy a book in his or her genre or get a bookstore gift card.
Happy giving! Wishing all of you a great 2019!