While it’s true you can make a very successful living as a writer with only a laptop and Internet connection …
There are certain things — let’s call them “luxuries of the job” — that can make the writing you do even more enjoyable. In many cases, they can also make you more efficient, more comfortable, and even more knowledgeable.
So, with the help of Barefoot Writer, AWAI, and several other web writers, I’ve put together this wish list of top gifts for writers. Most can be found on Amazon.com or with a simple online search. I’ve suggested a few links, but shop around. You might find a deal!
Gifts That Celebrate the Art of Writing
For those who love the visual art of writing, or who relish the tangible power of an artful pen meeting deeply textured paper, or even the melodic tap of antiquated tools like a typewriter, this is the list for you …
- Calligraphy set. Great for ornamental lettering and details, calligraphy is a visual art that dates back to the fourth century. A useful gift set includes a pen, brush, and nibs of different sizes. And, if you go with that, a great complement to this gift is the book, Creative Lettering and Beyond: Inspiring tips, techniques, and ideas for hand lettering your way to beautiful works of art.
- Stone paper notebooks. Also called rock paper or mineral paper, this tree-free paper is the stuff writer dreams are made of. Not only is it smoother to the touch, but the pages are durable, oil- and tear-resistant, and waterproof. Stone paper incorporates the aesthetic most writers associate with classic moleskin journals (also a great gift option). Stone paper is also an environmentally friendly option, since the manufacturing process is free of chlorine, acids, and petroleum. As a bonus, it’s recyclable.
- Wax seal stamp set. The use of wax seals can be traced back to the earliest civilizations and have long served as a sign of indisputable authenticity — much like a signature is used in the modern world. If you want a break from the digital world, where communication is fast and fleeting, add a wax seal to your written communications to bring a touch of tradition, dignity, and prestige.
- Vintage typewriter. Plenty of writers believe in “setting the mood” for creative output. If you’re charmed by the history of the typewriter, you might enjoy setting up one of these odes to the past in a place of honor near your writing space. Or, check out this page for typewriter-inspired gifts.
Gifts That Make the Writing Process Easier
Fun gifts aside, there are several functional gifts that make the process of creating more pleasant and more productive. They include:
- Fingerless writing gloves. Studies show people are more effective when they’re comfortably warm. Imagine how it might benefit your typing speed if you keep your hands warm, while still leaving the tips of your fingers free to type. Fingerless writing gloves are available in every color and fabric, but if you love the story side of writing, you might opt for a pair of story-themed writing gloves like this Jane Eyre version.
- Book scarf. Still on the subject of staying warm while writing and brainstorming, a book scarf may be more to your liking (especially if it inspires your creativity!). Here’s a Dracula infinity scarf to consider. For that matter, visit the Storiarts section of Etsy for an entire collection of book-themed gloves and scarves.
- Aromatherapy. Whether you go with scented candles, oil-infused bamboo sticks, or a room diffuser, the following scents are said to improve productivity: citrus, jasmine, rosemary, lavender, and peppermint.
- Cobra sit stand keyboard tray. If you’re not ready to commit to full-time standing while working, a cobra-arm keyboard setup may be perfect for you. The tray holds a keyboard and mouse, while the arm adjusts the position, so you can sit or stand while you work. As a bonus, the tray itself tilts up or down depending on your preferences.
- Standing desk. Standing while working and writing is not only healthier, it also makes it easier to stay focused (and awake!) for long periods of time. There are several versions of standing desks to consider, from the easily mobile to the homemade (such as a board on bricks on top of your existing desk). You might also consider the latest trend in fitness-working and think about a treadmill desk.
Software Gifts for the Professional Writer
- Scrivener writing software. Whether you’re writing a lengthy sales letter, mapping out site content for a multi-page website, or storyboarding your next great novel, Scrivener can make that process easier. In a nutshell, Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool that helps you organize long and complicated documents. You can start with a free trial, or get your own software license for $45 or less, depending on the version you choose.
- Evernote Premium. The Evernote app has long been a favorite of professional writers I know, thanks to its intuitive process for remembering both large and small things. As it turns out, Evernote might help you be a better writer with these time-saving tips. And if you’d like to test it first before committing to a premium subscription, you can always opt for the basic (and free) plan.
Massive Gifts and Gestures Unmatchable in Value
Here are the two grandest gifts for web writers and anyone looking to make a great living at this craft:
- A seat at AWAI’s Web Copywriting Intensive. This is an exclusive event where web writers at any level learn to launch themselves to new heights. You’ll spend three days working directly with experts like Clayton Makepeace and Nick Usborne … plus, you’ll have a working portfolio and marketing plan by the time you leave. And, there’s no better way to tell someone you take their writing seriously and know they’ll go far, if given the right tools!
- The ability to work from anywhere and pursue your passion. This isn’t something you can get from a store, and no amount of money could match its value. Our best advice is to set your goals as they relate to a professional writing career, outline a plan, and then share that plan with the people in your life who can help you make it a reality — perhaps a spouse, a parent, or a friend. Reach out to your support system with your goals, but at the end of the day, remember: You’re the one (and the only one) who has the power to make it happen. And, if you’d like to make it happen more quickly, consider joining Wealthy Web Writer…
An Easy Way to Share This List
If any of the items on this list resonate with you, you can access the extended PDF version put together by the Barefoot Writer team. Then email it to the gift-givers in your life … or print it and leave it lying around the house … or share it on your Facebook page.
You never know who might take note and send you a gift that not only makes your day, but also gives your writing career a boost!