Feeling a little panicked about last-minute holiday shopping? If your list includes a copywriter—or journalist, content marketer or creative writer—you can relax a little.
The Copywriters Gift Guide below includes thoughtful presents—many available online—sure to please your writer friend and send her happily into the New Year.
Copywriters Gift Guide: 10 great gifts for writers
1. Spotify. Music helps many writers focus and work more productively. Even writers who require utter silence appreciate music before and after work. You can open a huge, new musical world to your writer friend with Spotify, a digital streaming music service. Spotify gives Premium members access to millions of high fidelity songs. The service streams music on both mobile devices and desktop computers.
Spotify price: $9.99 a month.
Where to buy: Visit Spotify.com
2. Standing Desk. Fact: Writers face serious work-related health problems associated with sitting at their desks. Medical research continues to reveal the dangers of sitting for long periods of time: weight gain, high blood pressure and greater chance of suffering heart attack and death. The writer in your life will enjoy a happier, healthier new year with the gift of a standing desk. These tall worktables or extensions come in a variety of styles and price ranges. Browse around and you’ll find one that’s just right for your writer friend.
Standing desk prices: Prices range from under $20 for DIY desk extensions to over $1,500 for luxe Da Vinci antique reproductions.
Where to buy: Check out my standing desk suggestions.
3. Running shoes or cross trainers. While working at a standing desk provides multiple health benefits, it has a downside: aching feet. Writers need to wear comfortable, properly fitted shoes. Running or cross training shoes provide excellent support and do double duty for writers who run or, like me,
shuffle jog for exercise. Tip: Don’t buy shoes online. Your friend needs to try on her running shoes, hopefully with the help of a knowledgeable salesperson. Your best bet is a gift card.
Running shoes prices: $40-$150
Where to buy: A dedicated running shoe or sporting goods store nearby. Google “buy running shoes” and the name of your writer friend’s town.
4. Reflexology. Whether they stand or sit at a desks to work, writers will appreciate the relief and relaxation of reflexology—massage of the foot, touching on pressure points that align with various zones of the body. Reflexologists claim the practice provides an array of holistic health benefits. It also feels A-mazing. Tip: Look for trained and experienced reflexologist certified by The American Reflexology Certification Board.
Reflexology prices: $50-$100 for a 45 minute to one hour session.
Where to find: Ask your chiropractor, call a local day spa or search the website of the Reflexology Association of America to find a trained reflexologist near you.
5. Vintage typewriter. Even in the digital age, the typewriter remains an iconic symbol of the writing life. Cool mid-century typewriters add panache to the writer’s office—the machine at left belongs to Yours Truly. You’ll be surprised at the number of pro writers who still use typewriters—one defends them as “America’s salvation…”. Typewriters serve a number of practical purposes: Your writer friend can use a typewriter to fill in forms and address envelopes, write more slowly and thoughtfully and give her pixel-assaulted eyes a break. Practical note: Older typewriters may need new ribbons—most last a very long time and can be used over and over.
Typewriter prices: $10-$100 dollars; typewriter ribbons $5-$25
Where to buy: You can pick up manual or streamlined mid-century electric typewriters for a song at garage and attic sales or on Craigslist, eBay or Etsy. Typewriter ribbons are available on Amazon.
6. Typewriter temporary tattoo. Not loving the vintage typewriter gift idea? You can still give a writer the symbolic associations of a typewriter with a typewriter tattoo. Or if you find an inked typewriter a little de trop, try temp tattoo typography. I confess I’d love to find the Deming typeface tattoos tucked into my Christmas stocking—I’m already brainstorming ways to use them in MarketCopywriter marketing.
Temp tattoo prices: $5-$60
Where to buy: Tattly Designy Temporary Tattoos
7. Apps for Instagram. Instagram is a free iPhone application that lets users edit, filter and share photographs. The app is a boon to writers: It provides a break from word wrangling, lets writers cultivate their inner visual artist and helps them connect online more meaningfully. And now Instagram is even easier and more fun to use, thanks to a number of related Instagram apps. My fellow copywriter—and expert Instagrammer—@Anglo, suggests the following apps: Camera+, especially for its “Clarity” and “So Emo” filters; Dynamic Light—@Anglo likes the “dreamy soft focus” of this app’s Orton filter as well as its HDR filters; ColorSplash for its ability to add color pops to black and white photos; and Qbro, an app that runs your photo through 25 different filters.
8. Manicure. I know what your thinking. Why is a manicure a great gift for a writer? Couple of reasons. Think about it: Your writer friend’s hands take a beating clacking away at a keyboard all day. Those distressed digits could use a little pampering. And a manicure forces writers—notoriously reclusive animals—to pry themselves away from their laptops and enjoy a change of scenery. Even if it’s the inside of a nail salon. Yes, you can confidently give this gift to your Y-chromosomed writer pal as well: Men appreciate a half hour of relaxation and well-groomed, buffed nails. Chanel Vamp nail polish optional.
Manicure prices: $15-$25 dollars, depending on location.
Where to buy: Google “nail salon” and the name of your writer friend’s town.
9. Booze. It’s no secret that writers like a nip now and then. Ernest Hemingway produced some of his best work while hammered. And even in the post-Mad Men era, some copywriters enjoy a brandy while writing and feel it makes the words flow more freely. Whether the writer on your holiday list enjoys a tipple during or after work, she’ll appreciate a bottle of liquor. Champagne and prosecco are always festive. Or try a specialty liquor such as Lillet, Pimms No 1 or calvados.
Liquor prices: $10-$40
Where to buy: Your local liquor store.
10. Writing class, retreat or conference. Yes, it’s a splurge, but education is likely the most memorable and useful gift you can give the writer you love. In addition to teaching her new skills, a training event gives her a chance to network, connect with colleagues and maybe even meet a famous writer or content marketing rock star. Note to St. Nick: Attendance at Confab 2012 would be my dream gift—and it takes up no room in your sleigh!
Conference prices: $100-???? Depending on the conference price tag as well as travel and accommodation costs, a conference can easily run into thousands of dollars.
Where to buy: You’ll find comprehensive information on creative writing workshops at ShawGuides’ Guide to Writers Conferences & Workshops. For business and tech writers, copywriters and other corporate content creators, check out Content Marketing World 2012 and Shelly Bowen’s list of content strategy conferences.
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Manicure photo courtesy of Sarah Sphar
Standing desk photo courtesy of Eric Mallinson
Running shoes photo courtesy of Juanpol
Reflexology photo courtesy of mindgutter
Liquor bottles photo courtesy of Dinner Series
Conference photo courtesy of admanramblings