5 Christmas Gifts for Aspiring Writers
We’re coming up on that time of year when we madly Google listicles for gift ideas. You’re probably here because you know a writer and you just can’t figure out what to get them for Christmas or their birthday. There are tons of books on writing that you could buy them, sure, but how do you know before reading them which books are actually helpful?
Here are five ideas for writerly Christmas gifts that are NOT books on writing or fancy notebooks (like they probably have dozens of).
The New Rules of Marketing and PR
This is the best marketing book out there. It’s a must-read for anyone trying to establish themselves as a brand online. David Meerman Scott has put out several editions of this book because the web is a quickly-changing environment. He teaches readers how to promote themselves by creating content and engaging in meaningful discussion. His method is a great start for any aspiring author looking to built an audience online.
Aeon Timeline Software
You’ll have to be a little more creative to gift this one (making a card they can open, perhaps, and then registering it in their name). Still, it’s worth the effort. This is one of the best pieces of software I own. It allows users to create timelines with a variety of calendar structures (you can even make your own fantasy calendar!) that include pictures, important figures, and plot arcs. It also has a nifty feature that helps you calculate the ages of characters at certain times in the story.
I’ve used this software to timeline events in a series and my husband borrowed it to lay out the backstory of his world for Mars 01. It’s a really invaluable tool.
For complex stories with lots of research, characters, and world-building, Scrivener is a must-have. This writing program (which you can pay an extra $12 to order on CD to make it more easily gift-able) organizes your notes and helps you format your book. It can also export ebook formats. I love to use it for scripting comics because it’s very easy to insert pages and use shortcodes to automate numbering of pages and panels.
When you’re done, Scrivener will compile your story into PDF, DOC, and more.
Themeforest Website Themes
Is your writerly friend ready to set up an author website? These gorgeous premium themes will help them create a great first impression. For those who are more technically savvy, you can purchase HTML templates and adapt them yourself. For those who need a little more help, there are WordPress themes and Tumblr themes that will allow you to adapt more user-friendly systems to your need.
You can get lost for hours looking through these beautiful works of web design. This is definitely an advanced gift, but it’s one your recipient will never forget.
Post-It Notes are a great low-tech way to outline a story. Wrap a mega-pack of these pastel warriors with some candy canes, a bag of coffee, or a silly mug. Add a note of your own that says “for outlines.”
True Fact: You can never have too may Post-It Notes.
Whatever you choose to give this season, remember that the best gifts are the kind that show your personality or prove that you know the person you’re giving to. Giving a writer a writerly gift shows that you believe in them and you believe in their writing.
Let the madness of holiday shopping begin!