Writer Wish List: 7 Practical Gifts for the Starving Artist

Writer Slogan MugThere are all kinds of cute ideas for what to get writers this holiday season. Writers Helping Writers has a whole Pinterest page full of them! Though I like slogan mugs and book cover necklaces, I don’t really need those things. Instead, in lieu of the usual knick-knacks and novelty presents, here are some practical, homegrown gifts for the starving artist in your life…

  1. Caffeine. Slogan mugs are neat but the most important thing is what goes IN the mugs! I’ll get by with my plain white mug, thank you, but I’d really appreciate some caffeine to put inside it. And if you want to make me laugh, give me a pile of sticky notes with funny slogans written on them that I can stick on my mug each day.
  2. Company. This is a gift other writers can give each other. Writing can be lonely. It’s not that we don’t want to hang out with people, but we really need to get our books done. So invite a writer friend or three to a café or just a cozy living room and spend time writing together.
  3. Technical Support. If you’re technically inclined, offer to help a writer friend set up a website or blog, or help them recover their data after a computer crash. I got lucky and fell in love with a web designer, and he’s been my live-in tech support for five years now. That said, you could also introduce a single writer friend to that sexy geek you know…

    Plughole Tour, Australia - me in hole
    Me in a cave in Australia.
  4. A life. Invite me to do something fun or try something new, anything to get me out of the house and remind me to live life! Sometimes I get so obsessed with this quest to be a writer that I neglect the real world. Plus, every experience can be used in a story! Let’s go spelunking!
  5. Food. There’s nothing better than being invited for dinner, or having a surprise pie show up on your doorstep. Starving artists especially appreciate the gift of food.
  6. Time. Ideally we’d all like to unwrap a time machine so we could turn back the clock and get more writing done. But since that’s not technically possible, help a writer pal free up a couple hours by offering to babysit the kids, or pick up some groceries, or anything really that will help them carve out a bit more time for writing.
  7. Books. Gift certificates to a local bookstore are the best! You can never go wrong with this gift. Writers love books. It’s that simple.

So those are just a few ideas I’ve put on my Practical Writer Wish List. What about you? What do you want this holiday season?


Author: Heather Jackson

Heather is a freelance screenwriter, game writer, and novelist based in Toronto. For more, visit her website at heatherjacksonwrites.com or follow her on Twitter @HeatherJacksonW

4 thoughts on “Writer Wish List: 7 Practical Gifts for the Starving Artist”

  1. “So those are just a few ideas I’ve put on my Practical Writer Wish List. What about you? What do you want this holiday season?”

    I like very much your list as it stands. I don’t need to add or change one thing for it to be my own writer’s gift wish list this holiday season. Kudos on a great post, Heather!

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