What Should I Buy a Writer: A Gift Guide for the Aspiring Authors

Right about now, you might be wondering, “What do I buy a writer for Christmas?” It’s with little wonder, too. Writers get a bad rep for being mysterious and secretive about their craft. A non-writer can struggle to understand how a writer’s mind works. Do not fear! I have the perfect roundup for you.

What do you buy a writer for Christmas? | Gift Guide | Writer | Christmas | #ChristmasGiftIdeas #GiftGuide #Writerlife

What Should I Buy a Writer for Christmas?

My experience as a writer extends all the way back to childhood, where I wrote my first non-picture story in first grade and declared that I wanted to be an author when I grew up in second. The truth is that it’s not that hard to buy gifts a writer would like. If you’re searching for a last minute gift, then buy a notebook and pens, a giftcard to a book store, or even splurge on a coffee date. Bonus points if you actually ask about how your writer’s WIP (that’s a work-in-progress) is going.

But if you want to go above and beyond, here’s what you need to look for:

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Practical Tools

What do you buy a writer for Christmas? | Gift Guide | Writer | Christmas | #ChristmasGiftIdeas #GiftGuide #Writerlife

No, it’s not boring to go practical. There are many things that make a writer’s life easier. Start with the section to make sure your writer is covered.

  1. Bullet Journal – I can’t speak highly enough of the BuJo system. I started my current BuJo one year ago because the index system caught my attention. I wouldn’t end up with a bunch of blank pages in-between notes on different things! Instead, I could just flip the page, write what I needed, and index it. Anyways, I don’t have any practical BuJo guides on Chaotic Life but I do keep a Pinterest board just for this. I also have two themed accessory round-ups for a BuJo: tropical and boho.
  2. Writer’s Block Journal – The great thing about BuJos is that you don’t need to buy a specific brand. Why not get this clever play on words for your writer instead?
  3. Water Proof Writing Pad – If your writer is notorious for getting good ideas in the shower, then he or she needs the Aqua Notes Waterproof Writing Pad. Suction cups hold it to the shower wall so that your writer will always have a place to jot down an idea or two.
  4. Lap Desk – My lap desk has been one of the most used items throughout my writing career. I use it for the occasional coloring sheet when I’m on break, to write editing notes on, and to host my laptop . There are a lot of options for lap desks, from this basic one to this wood one with extra storage space. This one is similar to my old faithful lap desk, so I’m kind of partial to it.
  5. ScrivenerThis software makes writing, editing, and moving sections around in a longer work a breeze. If your writer doesn’t already own Scrivener, then this is the purchase you need to make. Don’t let the screenshots confuse you. The learning curve is really more about getting used to the appearance of the software layout then it is about actually having to learn the software.
  6. Printer – Writers, even the conscientious ones who use technology as much as possible, will still need a way to print their work out at points. Make it easy (and cost-effective!) by buying a laser-ink printer. I like the Brother brand. Don’t forget to also buy an extra toner cartridge and a ream of paper!
  7. Writer’s Group Fees – There are certain things that non-writers, no matter how much they may love their own writer, will never understand. That’s why every writer needs a good group of fellow writers to offer support, critiques, and edits. Most official groups have a membership cost, however. So why not pay those dues as a gift to your writer? Just run a search for local or semi-local groups. Some writing groups also meet virtually.

Books for Writers

What do you buy a writer for Christmas? | Gift Guide | Writer | Christmas | #ChristmasGiftIdeas #GiftGuide #Writerlife

These are practical as well, but they’re in a whole other category since they’re about continuing education. See if your writer is missing any of these on his or her bookshelf:

  1. Writing How-to and Inspiration Books – Be aware that writer’s c an be sensitive creatures, so be careful in how you present these (no writing for dummies allowed!). However, chances are high that your writer will be thrilled if you buy a how-to guide from one of their favorite authors. Stephen King has one. John Gardner’s On Becoming a Novelist was required reading for me in college and I highly recommend this one to others as well.
  2. Writer’s Market – For the serious writer pursuing publication, this is a must! The Writer’s Market organizes agents and editors by genre and marks which ones are open to unsolicited submissions.
  3. The Emotion Thesaurus – Some might call it cheating. I call it the confidence to actually show what my character is feeling. The Emotion Thesaurus shows you common descriptions and physical changes that real people experience when feeling key emotions. It’s a must have for fiction writers.
  4. Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer – I haven’t read this one, but it looks like it would be a great general reference for a writer.
  5. Marketing & Social Media: In this age, authors need to also be marketers. I’ll compile a list of recommendations, but for now keep in mind that your personal favorite writer needs guides in this area as well.


Because writers really do like to fun, here are some non-writing gift suggestions.

What do you buy a writer for Christmas? | Gift Guide | Writer | Christmas | #ChristmasGiftIdeas #GiftGuide #Writerlife

  1. Typewriter Coaster Set – Preserve your writer’s desk with these cute typewriter coasters! The low price makes these a good candidate for a friend, stocking stuffer, or a “just because” gift.
  2. “Avoid Reality” Wall Decor – I have a wood block that says “Avoid Reality at All Costs” on it. It amuses me because, as a writer, that’s exactly what I have to do to make progress on any books or even blogging. You can buy a metal version of my sign by clicking here. An added perk? You can customize with colors to fit your writer’s personal writing nook (or living room if they use the sofa as their personal writing area).
  3. Coffee Supplies – There’s a good reasons that writers are stereotyped as being dependent on caffeine. Sometimes, even those of us who carefully manage their schedules, find that they have to stay up late to complete a deadline. From a good coffee maker to an espresso machine or Keurig to actual coffee to coffee mugs,  your writer will thank you for the much needed supplies. After all, most of us are too broke to buy our own decent equipment. 😉
  4. Tea Supplies – Of course, there are also those writers who prefer tea. In addition to coffee mugs, you can get cute tea infusers like this Baby Loch Ness Monster, a glass teapot with an infuser built in, an electric kettle, or some loose tea.

‘Luxury’ Gift Ideas

Okay, so some of these aren’t really luxury items. However, they are well above the usual pricetag on gift items. If your writer is extra-special to you, or there’s an entire group of friends and family searching for a gift, this is what you need.

  1. Laptop – Some people do prefer desktop computers, like my husband. However, a true writer spends a lot of time on the move. This is why I favor laptops. I’ve used a Dell and an Acer in the past and they were both good laptops. However, for my current one I chose a Lenova Thinkpad. I’m never going back either. The keyboard feels wonderful compared to other laptops I’ve used, which is important when you’re typing thousands upon thousands of words.
  2. Writer’s Conference (plus Travel) – Writer’s Conferences are great for writers at all stages. They offer workshops on the writing process, specific genres, the process of becoming published, and even marketing. They’re best for networking, however. You can search for conferences by location or genre. Christians will be thrilled to learn that there’s many great choices specifically for them.
  3. Typewriter Keyboard – There are people who take old typewriters and then reconfigure them into functional keyboards for computers. How cool is that? And then there are new (and cheaper) keyboards that are inspired by typewriters.
  4. Livescribe Pen These pens provide writers a way to never lose their notes. The Livescribe pen digitally preserves notes. Notes can be taken on the go, then transferred to a computer later. Don’t forget to buy some extra notebooks, too!

Okay, so what did I miss? Add your favorite gift for writers below so that our readers can get even more suggestions. Don’t forget to flag an affiliate link if you use one!


What do you buy a writer for Christmas? | Gift Guide | Writer | Christmas | #ChristmasGiftIdeas #GiftGuide #Writerlife

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More about Lauren C. Moye

Lauren has had a lifelong passion for both writing and for helping people. Once upon a time, she would have laughed if somebody suggested she write nonfiction to achieve those goals. A couple of years ago, she would have scoffed if somebody suggested she write for her peer groups. Today she's writing to "HELP BUSY CHRISTIAN MOMS MANAGE LIFE."

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