It’s that time of the year again. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, there’s got to be something to look forward to during this end-year.
I personally love December.
Not only do I get some time off from work, but I also get to spend my days celebrating the holiday season with my family. There’s just something magical with end year gatherings—you know, with all the scrumptious food and decadent desserts. And since I didn’t even try to hide my jittery excitement towards the end year, it may come as no surprise at all when I say that above all that, I also love giving presents to my family and friends.
I love giving presents.
But I couldn’t say I love receiving them.
Not because I don’t love receiving them, of course. But it’s more because people rarely give me presents I actually want. Of course, I know I have to be grateful for receiving any presents at all, but when you’ve spent your whole life getting socks and t-shirts for Christmas presents, you’d eventually get sick of it.
So here’s a list of 5 Gift Ideas for the writers in your life. If you know an aspiring author or even an established author, I’d hazard a guess that they’re probably getting tired with all the uninspiring, run-of-the-mill, boring presents they’ve been getting all their lives. Granted, these are more like my own personal wish-list, to say the least, but I think writers like me would appreciate these items just the same.
1. Fountain Pens
If there is one thing all writers (probably) have in common, it would’ve got to be their strange fascination towards stationery. Even after the advent of personal computers, there’s just something that feels remarkably novel about having a fountain pen. It feels like a statement of some sort like you’re not taking this whole writing business lightly.
As such, here are 3 fountain pens that I recommend:
As the cheapest pen on the list, Pilot Metropolitan is a very sturdy and reliable writer. This is the very first fountain pen I bought, and it still writes reliably even to this day. With a lot of designs available, friendly steel nib, and easy maintenance, this is the perfect introductory pen for writers who are interested in using fountain pens.
Pilot Vanishing Point / Pilot Capless
Some say that this is the “flagship” of Pilot, and quite understandably so. While most fountain pens use screw or cap mechanism to seal the nib, the Pilot Vanishing Point has a retractable nib that seals itself securely inside the barrel whenever we’re not using the pen. Although you might have seen this mechanism with standard ballpoint and roller ball pens, this contraption is very rarely found in fountain pens.
With an 18-K gold nib, this isn’t exactly a cheap pen, but it is certainly a pen that will last for a long time. I have purchased this pen myself, and I can say with confidence that it writes like a dream. Consider giving this to your writer friends who are constantly on the move, and need a reliable click pen to jot their next phrase quickly.
At a similar price point with the Pilot Vanishing Point, Lamy 2000 sets itself apart by providing a slightly smoother writing experience, and a larger ink capacity. This is a capped pen so it might not be as practical as the Pilot VP, but since it has a lighter body, most people agree that this is the pen to-go whenever they need a tool for long writing sessions.
Consider giving this to your writer friends who could manage long writing sessions in their schedule.
2. Midori Traveler’s Notebook
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’d know that I had this obsession towards Midori Traveler’s Notebook. I’ve even dedicated the notebook as my writer’s notebook. So it should come as no surprise that I’m recommending the product wholeheartedly to every writer out there.
If you haven’t heard of the cult yet, basically the setup consists of a slab of leather with strings on the middle part where you can attach your “inserts”. These inserts are a lot of things; ruled and blank notebooks are a staple, of course, but they also have craft folders, and plastic sleeves. It is a highly customizable notebook setup that can (and will) suit your needs depending on how you’re configuring it.
I know the setup might not work for everyone. I’ve heard some people actually dislike the flexibility it offers, and would very much prefer the comfort of conventional notebooks as opposed to swapping used Midori inserts with a new one every time they run out of space to write.
But all in all, I think it is a safe bet to give the notebook to the writers in your life. If they do like it, then all the better. But even if they don’t end up liking it, at least they get to try the unique setup, and I promise that us writers just love to try out new stationaries. As if it couldn’t be more obvious.
3. Spa/Massage Vouchers
What do writers do? They write.
And most of the time, this means sitting in front of their computers and typing for hours. I don’t know about you, but personally, after completing my second novel, Unspoken Words, which was written in 9 days, I developed a severe back pain from slouching and sitting for too long.
And do you know what I wished I had at the time? A full-on body massage voucher to rejuvenate my body. Throw a free scrub and sauna in there, and I could imagine myself shedding all my fatigue away. Oh, how I wish I had that luxury.
Unfortunately, spa/massage services are not cheap. I’d consider myself lucky if I could spare a certain portion of my salary every month in order to treat myself to a massage session. So in retrospect, I would have really appreciated it if someone could treat me to a spa/massage session right after I finished my writing session.
(Believe me, we would never turn down such offer).
Now if you have a writer friend, and he/she has been doing this writing business for a long time, chances are they would know about Scrivener.
In my experience, there are three types of writers: those who have tried Scrivener and loved it, those who have tried Scrivener and prefer something else, and those who haven’t tried Scrivener and are dying to try it out, given the opportunity.
Now I wouldn’t lie. Just like every other thing on this list, the Scrivener app might not be for everybody. I know some writers who swear by using only Microsoft Word, and they actually thrive by sticking to that software. But for me personally, I’d jump at the very first opportunity to try out a new writing software.
And Scrivener, for me, is the ultimate writing software. You can use it to craft your prose, draft your novel, write your next essay, etc. It has every single tool you might need in order to finish your book; fiction or otherwise.
Personally, I use Scrivener to write my longer projects (novels, novellas) and stick to Ulysses 3 to write my shorter pieces (poetry, prose, short stories) so I can attest to the quality of this two writing software, particularly Scrivener. And considering the price point of the software, I think a lot of budding writers would have Scrivener on their wish list.
(And what to do if the writer-in-question already has Scrivener? Just try and find a new and promising writing software for your writer friend to try out. Trust me, even if they don’t get to use the software as their main writing tool, they’d certainly appreciate the opportunity to try them out!)
5. Books on Writing
What could be a more obvious pick to gift a writer? I couldn’t believe how many of my friends who never thought to give me a book for a present. Particularly, in this case, books on writing.
These are the books that talks about honing our crafts as a writer. They range from covering plotting techniques, characterizations, settings, story structures, tropes, and even copy editing tips. Essentially, they are the best reference book anyone could get for their writer friends.
Of course, I know that finding a good book on writing for your writer friend might not be the easiest task in the world, especially if you yourself are not a writer. So let me share with you some of my favorite books on writing; perhaps this could give you an idea of what to get your writer friend as a present:
And there you have it! That concludes the 5 gift ideas for the writers in your life, according to my version.
I know that there are a bunch of other interesting things you could get your writer friends, but I picked these 5 based on my own personal preference, in hopes that it also resonates with some writers out there, who like the same things as I do.
(And yes, this is also a shameless post about my personal wish list.)
In any case, I hope you guys will get to pick the perfect holiday presents for the writers in your life, and please feel free to share your experience, ideas, or suggestions about giving presents to your favorite writers. I would most certainly love to hear them out! Happy holidays, everyone!
I will be posting new content every Saturdays, be it writerly stuff, or just things that I like to write about. This includes my own stories, information about my books, and things that interest me. Keep yourself updated by following me on Twitter and Instagram.