Last year, the best gift under my tree was a packet of black, ball-point pens. I mean “best,” as in, this was the gift that got me really excited, that I couldn’t wait to open up and use.
My ballpoint pens had that rubber padding or sleeve around them, so I knew they were going to be much easier on my middle-finger writer’s bump.
And yes, there is such as thing as a writer’s bump. I’ve had one ever since I sat for my exams in my convent school in Ireland.
Among all the people on your gift list, writers are really easy to make or craft or buy for. Basically, we’ll adore just about anything that will make our writing lives easier-particularly if, like most writers, we’re balancing writing with a day job and a gazillion other things.
Here are my 9 gift ideas for the writers on your list
- Small, pocket-sized notebooks: We need them for those middle-of-the-night ideas. You can find them almost anywhere-including at large, drugstore retail stores.
- A box of professional looking thank-you cards (or two): I love to send out hand-written thank-you notes to business associates, editors, friends, book-discussion group hosts, bookstore event people and others.
- Pens: Many. Pens. Did I mention pens? See my intro above.
- Post-it notes and index cards: Many, many post-it notes — preferably in different colors and sizes. Index cards are good, too.
- Blank journals: Journals are where we do our morning pages and rough sketches before the first actual draft of the essay or story or book. Plain, lined journals are best. Artist’s sketch pads work nicely, too.
- Gift cards to coffee shops, book shops and cafes: These days, in the era of COVID, it’s hard to write in a coffee shop. But the sun will shine in 2022, and we’ll be able to write at those outdoor patio tables again. Coffee- or tea-shop gift cards are a winner. So are cards for bookshops.
- Packs of ear plugs: These work well when we’re writing in a cafe or restaurant or on the train commute.
- Gift card to a guest house, writers retreat or writing workshop: So far, my gift ideas have been modestly priced, but if you really want to indulge and delight the writer in your life or family, buy them a gift card to a comfy hotel or a writers retreat or a virtual writing workshop. Make sure that the use-by dates are open so your writer can book a date that works for them.
- A day pass or a membership at a shared workspace location: This doesn’t have to be anyplace too fancy, and there are plenty of choices out there. Or, if you live in or near central Massachusetts, check out this shared space, The Mill River Writers Nook, which is specially designed for writers.