10 Things Every Writer Needs

Are you looking for that perfect gift for the writer in your life? As a writer myself, I appreciate things that help me.

Buying for a writer is fairly easy when you think about what they need to be a good and healthy writer. You can get a variety of things for whatever suits your budget, too.

I don’t know about other writers, but I am pretty easy to please.

So if you’re stuck, look no further for some great ideas.

1. Pens and/or pencils

Depending upon what I am doing, I sometimes write in pencil. I don’t know why, but I do.

The crazy part is I don’t even like pencils. However, I do use mechanical pencils now.

As far as pens go, I don’t have to have expensive ones. I am satisfied with the Sharpie fine tip pen meant for writing, not one of the bigger ones. I also like the Uniball pens. They both write smooth.

2. Journal

I have written in journals since I was twelve. Actually at twelve, it was called a diary. I have had a variety of journals over the years.

Finding the perfect journal is not easy. The sizes vary as well as the way they are bound.

I have some journals that are bound like a book, and others that are spiral bound.

The ones like a book are sometimes harder to write in what I call the gutter, or the middle part of the book.

The spiral bound journal is easier to write in because it works more like a notebook. However, many times they aren’t as pretty and elegant as the bound ones.

Of course, a Moleskine journal is a popular journal. They come in a variety of sizes from the size of a business card to the size of a piece of copy paper. They have ruled and unruled paper.

3. Writing resources

I am bound and determined to make my writing better so I have asked for some books about writing.

I know I can make my characters better so I want books about how to create better characters. One book I have asked for is called Writer’s Guide to Character Traits by Linda Edelstein.

I would also like to add The Positive Trait Thesaurus and The Negative Trait Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman. I already have her The Emotion Thesaurus and love it so if I don’t get these two books I will add them to my collection soon.

I also hope to add a book about plotting. I struggle with that at times so I could benefit from the extra help.

A good dictionary like Webster’s or Merriam-Webster is a good idea. I have a Webster’s dictionary I use, and Merriam-Webster is on my phone.

4. Scrivener

I cannot say enough about this writing tool. I bought Scrivener for half price after I “won” National Novel Writing Month two years ago.

This program helps me so much with my writing. I can set daily word count goals as well as a target total word count for a book.

I can compile my finished novel into a Word or PDF document as well as a mobi or epub file.

I can create chapters and scenes within the chapters. This makes it easy to move scenes around if needed.

5. Starbucks gift card

I say Starbucks, but it can be another coffee shop. I live in a rural small town where we only have Starbucks.

I could spend oodles of time sitting at Starbucks writing blog posts, scenes for a novel, or whatever else writing I need to do. I have done my best writing there many times.

Having a gift card from there would save me a bit of money for a few times and let me get out of the house.

6. Gym membership

Sitting at home or at a local coffee shop is not good all the time. I’m not getting any exercise.

I could benefit from having a gym membership. I get to leave my house and be around other people while working out and staying in shape.

Sitting at home all the time is not good for us. We need to be around other people, and exercise not only keeps us in shape but keeps our minds sharp.

7. Writer garb

I had never really thought about a writer T-shirt or sweatshirt until I saw some in advertising on Facebook.

They are a bit pricey, like $40 or more for a sweatshirt. But you get to tell people you are a writer.

I know writers are sometimes looked down upon, but I am proud to be a writer. It is a real job in my opinion because not everyone has the creativity or skills to be a good writer.

I have seen some cute mugs for that cup of coffee or tea you need to give  you a boost. NaNoWriMo has a nice travel mug. The Facebook writing group called 10 Minute Novelists has their own mugs in several designs.

I know there is plenty more out there so just type in “writer gifts” to find more.

8. Backup

Everyone should have a means of backing up whatever we put on a computer. I have two external hard drives and even a flash drive.

Writers in particular need to save their work more than anyone. After all we are putting down words that we will publish for the world to see.

I learned the hard way back in college to save frequently. Now I save on my computer as well as backup to Dropbox, which is another way of backing up your hard work.

Dropbox is a free app, but it does have a subscription if you want more storage.

Right now I use the free app, but maybe someday I will need more storage.

9. Calendar/planner

Writers plan and set goals. Or at least I do.

A calendar or a planner helps me figure out times of the day I will write. I can also set weekly and monthly goals.

If I don’t set goals, then I don’t write as I need to do.

I can use a planner to jot down how many words I write each day. That makes me feel accomplished when I can see what I have done every day.

10. Amazon gift card

When all else fails, an Amazon gift card works for the writer. This gives me so much freedom to buy what I want.

I asked for one of these gift cards myself. I figured I could get books for my Kindle or even books to read. I could also get those writer resource books I mentioned earlier, especially if Santa doesn’t bring them.

They even have some neat writer gifts like a sweatshirt and mugs.

Final thoughts

I hope I have given you some good ideas to get you started. Buying for a writer isn’t always easy.

I know there are plenty of other ideas. What could you add to this list?

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