Christmas gifts for writers (these are a few of my favorite things)

Christmas is coming! You need to buy something that literary genius in your family will love, but they are so hard to please.

You can’t go wrong with something that encourages them to finish their book, and tells them that you support and believe in their dream. Here are some gift ideas, ranging from silly to practical.

 

Here are a few of my favorite things, either things I use and love, or things I desperately covet.

Click the PICTURES for more info about each product.

 

1. New writing laptop

For years my favorite writing device has been the super slim Asus Zenbook. This links to the 14″ one, but I actually prefer the 13.3″ model. They have a variety of specs, but most are powerful enough to also do graphic design and video editing.

ASUS ZenBook Ultra-Slim Laptop - 14” FHD IPS WideView Display,  Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, 8GB DDR4, 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD, Windows 10, Backlit keyboard, 3.1lbs, Quartz Grey - UX410UA-AS74

However, the NEXT laptop I plan to buy, after lots of research, is this one. It’s a MateBook X Pro by Huwaii. I’ll pick one up in Taiwan in a few months, with an i7 processor and all the best specs.

Huawei MateBook X Signature Edition 13

Unless you do tons of heavy video and graphic work, you may not need a laptop this powerful, but it’s still nice to carry and fast to use, even just for writing.

2. Best writing keyboards

This year I doubled my productivity by learning to write my first drafts on my iPhone with a bluetooth keyboard. I ended up getting a Belkin keyboard, which weighs nothing and is easy to bring everywhere.

Belkin 10'' Universal Keyboard Case, Compatible with any mobile device up to 10-inch (Black)

 

I ALSO bought a ridiculously useless and awesome Penna keyboard… it works well and my writing speed improved, and of course functionality is important, but I bought it under the pretense of “bribing my muse” with shiny, beautiful things, to make my writing fun, enjoyable and aesthetically pleasing, because I know inspiration starts at home.

Penna Bluetooth Keyboard with with Black Chrome Keycap(US Language) (Switch-Cherry Mx Blue, Special Wood)

 

This is why I never bought the Astrohaus keyboard, which was a little ugly… however they’ve just come out with a really cool travel version and I kind of want one of those too.

3. Nespresso coffee maker

Nespresso Essenza Mini Original Espresso Machine by De'Longhi, Red

When I studied philosphy in Malta, we had a big Nespresso coffee machine on campus that would give you a little plastic cup of espresso for a large coin. I’m not a coffee connoisseur, so maybe it’s just nostalgia, but I really appreciate the ease and convenience of waking up and hitting a button for decent espresso (I know I’m ruining the world and convenience culture is the root of all evil… which is why we don’t actually have one of these – but I tend to look for AirBnB’s that do have one.)

I also think they’ve done a great job with branding; they’ve taken instant coffee to a luxury model, with classy stores and product showcases.

4. A cat…

We can’t have pets because we travel too much, but we frequent cat cafes (they’re a thing) and chase stray cats in the street. There’s nothing quite as profound for your psychological well-being than a familiar pet or emotional support animal.

5. Cookies

My personal favorites, because chocolate gives me migraines, and I can usually find these anywhere around the world.

Pepperidge Farm Tahoe Cookies, 7.2-Ounce Package

5. Journals

Leather Journal with Semi-precious Stone & Buckle Closure Leather Diary Gift for Him Her

The magic still happens with pen and paper – whenever I get stuck I turn to old-school tech to purge my thoughts; it’s also where I write my bigger dreams and goals. I’ve never met a writer who isn’t a sucker for a really fancy leather-bound journal. Get them something worth writing in, like the one above with a gold clasp and a dragon’s eye.

5. Stay inspired

I’d like to start designing my own products, but in the meantime here are a couple I found. The idea is to surround yourself with items that inspire and motivate you: even having a motivational poster with “You Can Do It” can boost productivity. I’m not convinced that you can simply define yourself as a writer and become one, but accepting your core role or #1 long-term goal as WRITER might be the commitment you need (it’s why I got an #amwriting tattoo).

Best Freshman Gifts Out of Print Women's Punk Rock Authors Dolman T-Shirt MediumSociety6 Writer Mug 11 oz3dRose mug_161909_4 Ask Me About My Book Advertise Your Writing Writer Author Self Promotion Promote Advertising Two Tone Black Mug, 11 oz, Black/White

About Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a book editor turned book designer with a Ph.D. in Literature. He's been featured on CNN and spoken at dozens of writing conferences around the world. These days he mostly writes young adult fantasy and science fiction, while helping authors write and publish bestselling books. FREE GUIDE: Sell your work without selling out.