a peek inside the fishbowl

18 Dec, 2013

Gift ideas for the writers in your lives

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Oh! Things!

Last year I wrote a post called “Five things you can give to your favourite blogger,” and I still stand by that list. :) I was tapping away in the office this morning and I thought it might be a good idea to post some gift ideas in case there’s a writer in your life (although this list may apply equally well to bloggers too).

1) Slippers. Writers crave comfort and many writers toil away in areas of the house that don’t have a lot of heat going to them for some reason. Fuzzy socks might be a good gift for this exact reason. So are fingerless gloves. :)

2) Beverages. Wine. Tea. Gift cards for coffee are all things that can help keep those creative fires burning. A lot of people pooh pooh the idea of gift cards for coffee shops but this defies logic since this is exactly where many writers spend their time. Speaking of coffee, did you know that Bridgehead has a new app? You can send someone some coffee money, right to the app! It’s the gift that keeps giving!

3) Nice pens. But not too nice, in case they get lost. Or how about some fun pencils?

4) Stationery. I once received embossed and personalized thank you cards as a gift and I loved them TO DEATH. This is something I adore but would never spend that kind of money on myself.

5) A book about writing. How about Eats, Shoots, Leaves by Lynne Truss? Or Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, or Steven King’s On Writing?

6) Pretty notebooks and notepads. Ecojot is awesome.

7) Inspiration dice. Aren’t these a fun idea?

8) Motivational posters. This one might suit you.

9) Writing can be a very lonely and solitary pursuit, and writers of all levels undoubtedly themselves in a dark place, plagued with self-doubt. Perhaps it’s the cerebral nature of a writer’s work, or maybe they are wired differently. That’s why I’m thinking that the best gift of all may be the simplest gift of all: words of encouragement. Consider sending them in the form of a handwritten card, so the writer can pin it above their work space and look at it when they need something to shore them up against the tide.

Any other suggestions? I would love to hear them!

Edited to add:

10) A Moleskine Evernote notebook. I spotted it at Chapters today. Evernote is a great app for writers, and here it is, paired with some old skool kind of technology!  So neat.




6 Responses to "Gift ideas for the writers in your lives"

1 | Bob LeDrew

December 18th, 2013 at 8:28 am


All of these are great ideas. Here’s some more:

Scrivener is a program designed for large writing projects, like novels or non-fiction books. It’s not superintuitive but it’s got POWER for storing background material, character notes, outlines, all kinds of stuff. It costs $45 US.

Ommwriter is called a “writing environment.” The goal is to give the writer a seamless, distraction-free screen to write with (or is that on). It’s a pay-what-you-feel program, with a suggested price of $4.11

750words.com is a website that gamifies the idea of “morning pages” made popular by Julia Cameron in her book “The Artist’s Way.” It is free to use, but you can make a one-time or recurring donation to unlock some features.

I am a giant fan of blank books and fountain pens. And you don’t have to spend a bundle on a really nice fountain pen. I found a Parker 51 pen at an antique shop and paid $20 for it; a brand-new Lamy Safari is probably about $40, and will take either cartridges or a converter so you can fill your pen with your ink.

And finally, it seems like everyone who works with words LOVES my man Stephen King’s “On Writing.”

2 | Cath

December 18th, 2013 at 9:51 am


What a great list. As a self-employed writer/consultant, I would love any and all of these. My only other suggestions would be CDs (I love classical for certain writing projects), a beautiful water jug or cup and coaster, and a writers block certificate that offers a life-saving coffee or lunch date when the going is tough …

3 | Alyssa

December 18th, 2013 at 6:20 pm


As a blogger I would also love any of these gifts! Thanks for sharing your fab ideas!

4 | Lubna S

December 18th, 2013 at 6:32 pm


Love this list. All wonderful ideas. I saw the Moleskin Evernote at Chapters the other day too … Love.
Thanks for sharing.

5 | Laurel

December 18th, 2013 at 7:02 pm


Love them all AND another one would be a phone call or text invite to lunch or coffee to break up the solitude!

6 | Amy

December 20th, 2013 at 4:52 pm


On Writing is one of my favourites too, and as for pens, I am something of a pen snob and the 7-year pens you can buy at Chapters are currently a favourite, to go along with my Moleskines.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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