Gifts for Writers

Admit it, Writers. All you really want for this gift-giving season is time to write. (Well, peace on Earth and goodwill toward men is also on our list, but if we’re talking about a personal gift, TIME is number-one.)


But few people think that TIME is a good gift. Maybe because it’s not tangible and you can’t return it for a refund or exchange it for something in unicorn-silver. I ask for TIME every year, and I never get it.

Hint, hint, Fam.

If you’re a normal person looking for a gift for a writer, seriously give him or her time. Take the kids for the afternoon, or hand over the keys to your lakeside cottage for the weekend, or offer to do the housecleaning for a day. These kinds of offers free up TIME for the writer in your life and you will be the best gift-giver EV-AH.


But say you’re still kind of Scroogy about giving time, for whatever reason, below are some pretty cool second-bests that any writer would be psyched to have:

Stocking Stuffers

  • USB Voice Recorder and memory stick
  • Light-up pens for writing down nighttime inspiration (yes, normal people, this really happens!)
  • AquaNotes waterproof notepads (for shower ideas—yes, normal people, this happens too!)
  • Snack foods for keeping up energy and keeping writers sane


  • Programs like Scrivener for organizing and word processing
  • Software for self-publishing (image editing, ebook formatting, etc.)
  • Flash drive or external hard drive for backups
  • Wireless/ergonomic keyboard or mouse
  • New computer/laptop
  • Printer
  • eReader or eTablet
  • Online storage subscription or upgrade (for keeping all of a writer’s documents backed up and ready to go with a click of an app–suggestion courtesy of Mayumi-H)

Writing Craft and Publishing-Related Books

  • Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
  • Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • Bird by Bird by Anne LaMott
  • The Magic of Fiction by Beth Hill
  • I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my own books, the Writer . . . Uninterrupted series.


  • Heat pads
  • Gift basket full of writing-related items (pens, notebooks, special beverage and glass, vouchers for TIME, etc.)
  • Gift cards for books (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, local bookstores, etc.) or office supply stores
  • Canisters of favorite coffee or hot chocolate or tea
  • Bourbon. Wait. Did I seriously write that???
  • Registration fee for writing conference or workshop, or coaching services
  • Totem for a muse (figurine, stuffed animal, etc.)
  • Subscription to music source (Pandora, Spotify, etc.)
  • Entry fee for a writing contest
  • Massage gift certificates
  • Comfort clothes (something like fuzzy socks)
  • Writing TIME (anything from babysitting to a writers retreat)
  • Housecleaning services (especially during deadlines), which also equates to TIME
  • Cover design, editing, or formatting costs for self-published authors
  • Books written by writer friends (a great way to show your support for your friends!)

What are you giving the writer in your life? And if you’re a writer, what did you ask for this holiday season?


53 thoughts on “Gifts for Writers

  1. I need to share this list with my friends. They always get me things I don’t have particular use for and I’m like, “Guys. I am THE easiest person to shop for. Get me pens and a pretty notebook and I’m happy!”

    To add to the laptop idea – it should be one with a back-lit keyboard. I recently got one like that and it is absolutely life-changing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ooh, yes, very good point–backlit keyboard is great–especially for those who write at 4 a.m. and can’t be bothered to turn on a desk lamp! 🙂 I hope your friends can take a hint!! Merry Christmas!


    • I like to reward myself for good writing streaks (whether it’s beating/making a deadline, winning a challenge, or pushing through a tough scene, etc) with writing stuff. So I do a lot of browsing online or in unique gift shops. There is a lot of fun and useful writing gear out there! Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your list! And I love how you divided them up. I laughed at the voice recorder because just yesterday, as I was driving downtown to run a quick errand, a thought was bubbling up in my brain as I was running out the door, and I spent most of the drive talking into my voice recorder. And about ideas coming in the shower – absolutely!! I brainstormed my business over a handful of showers over a decade ago (I had a tiny biz of selling my photography and soaps at local craft shows). My lavender soap always seemed to be magic for clearing the cobwebs out of my brain and allowing the ideas to flow. It got my brain quiet, calm, and focused. I hope you get everything you wish for Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve always said if you want me to write the great American novel, then buy me a case of vodka, a pile of flannel jammies, and stacks of yellow legal pads. The first would remind me to feel, the second would keep my comfy, and that last would create just the right ambiance. Maybe some year Santa will pay attention!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great list, Kate! It’s hard to choose just one of those items as the perfect gift. 😀 Can I add one that I’ve found useful? An online storage subscription or upgrade, for keeping all of a writer’s documents backed up and ready to go with the click of an app.

    I hope your family takes the hint and gives you some time for this holiday season. It really is an easy gift to give!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, please add on to the list. I like to know what’s out there that appeals to other writers as we are not all created equally! 😉 Your addition is great, and I’m going to stick it in now!! Merry Christmas!!


    • Stocking stuffers are best when they’re stuffable! 🙂 I’ll keep my ears open about the time-bottling. I’m sure someone, somewhere is getting close! Thanks for swinging by and commenting! Happy New Year!


  5. I immediately liked your blog because of the name: 4am Writer. I’ve been a one cup of coffee in the morning person for years, but now that I’m more committed to writing, I find myself fighting to stay up a bit longer since everyone is asleep. Work the next day hasn’t been too fun. I love journals, but I love to search for my own even more than receiving them. A smooth pen is one of the great joys of my life!


    • Hello!

      I have tried to write late-night, but I must be more eagle than owl because I just have no creative energy at that time. 4am works well for me, but it definitely isn’t the gig for everyone! Writers can’t go wrong with pens and journals. Even if we don’t use the journals, pretty ones lined up on a bookshelf feels inspiring to me!

      Thanks for swinging by and commenting! Have a writerly day!

      Liked by 1 person

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