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Writing is my main creative outlet these days. Putting words on paper (or blogs like this one) helps me communicate concepts to an audience sometimes better than I can verbally. Writing our thoughts can help us make sense of the ideas in our heads. Writing can help people make connections and expand their businesses. And it can create opportunities and generate income. We should encourage and support writers and their craft.
If you know someone that likes to write, help them cultivate their interest. Nobody is born with an inherent skill for writing. But passion can be cultivated and passionate writers exist because their enthusiasm has led them down a path of learning and disciplined practice. Send a gift to the writer in your life. These are some gift ideas that any writer would be happy to receive.
Scrivener, a tool I use for all of my blogging and article projects, helps me organise projects and tasks. Scrivener comes with a powerful set of tools for jotting notes, organising keywords, collecting references, and creating outlines and structures. There’s a distraction-free writing mode, split-pane view mode, markdown formats, and other efficiency-focused features. Scrivener is packed with tools that help writers improve the creative process.
Google Docs is free and there are plenty of ways to make it work. But for writers above “amateur” level, a real writing tool is essential.
How to organise the research, photos, links and other bits and pieces that a writer gathers while working on an article, novel, or blog post? Try Evernote. It’s a tool I use every day. Evernote lets you store your thoughts, web clippings, travel photos and anything else you want in labelled documents and folders. It’s like a second brain in the cloud.
Evernote is like a digital moleskin journal. But it does even more. It’s versatile. It acts as a place to dump your brain and organize the information. It lets you easily recall information based on tags, keywords, and notebooks. And better still, you can record a lot more information in Evernote than you can in a physical journal
Evernote has a free plan, and an upgraded plan for people that want AI-suggested content, integrations, bigger uploads, and offline access.
No, I don’t mean you have to hire someone to sit beside you as you write. Nor, do you have to attend classes on writing, although that’s not a bad idea. Software products can take over some of the responsibilities of a human writing coach these days. In fact, it can do a better job sometimes. Nothing beats the touch of a real person but real people are expensive to have on call.
ProWritingAid is a grammar checker, style editor, and spell checker all rolled into one. It’s a tool every writer could use.
An alternative to ProWritingAid is Grammarly. Grammarly is a free tool with a premium plan that helps writers with their grammar (in case it wasn’t obvious). The free version is great for spell checking and typographical errors but to get the most out of Grammarly, the subscription is a must. I prefer to use ProWritingAid but both tools are excellent for cleaning up any style.
ProWritingAid now offers a Chrome Extension so you can check your spelling on sites like Medium, Facebook, Twitter, MailChimp, LinkedIn, and others. A great tool for removing that writer’s block and helping to make your work shine.
Physical Journal Notebook
Most of us work online these days. 99% of the writing that people do is on a computer. From my experience, writing with a pen takes three times as long. Not to mention the wrist and finger ache. My pen handling skills from school are long gone.
But there’s something beautiful and tactile about writing on paper with a pen. My computer is bursting with To Do apps, writing tools, and easy ways to jot down whatever comes to mind. But I still keep a nice journal beside me.
- I can take a break from the screen to write or doodle in the journal
- Using paper can bring out the creativity in me. For the same reason why people like to change location for working and thinking, changing the medium where one writes can help spark creativity.
- Scribbling on paper feels great.
Unique journals inspire the writer in us. If you want to impress (but not spend a whole lot) these sexy refillable handmade traveler’s notebooks are just the thing.
Genuine leather. Thick paper (love that). Refillable. The perfect gift for a travelling writer.
Malcolm Gladwell, the author of best-selling books The Tipping Point and Blink, is a well-respected New York Times journalist. His non-fiction books top the book charts thanks to his particular style of journalism that uses storytelling to explain concepts. A great gift for writers is Gladwell’s Masterclass on writing. The course teaches Gladwell’s techniques for finding, researching, and creating great stories.
Gifts For People Who Read
Stephen King’s On Writing is one of the best books for learning the craft of writing. Strictly speaking, this a guidebook to crafting fiction. But the knowledge bombs in this short book apply to any genre. Even if you’re not a fan of Stephen King’s stories, this book will provide you with a ton of value. It’s an excellent gift for any aspiring writer. Writers of any genre will love the words of wisdom in King’s book. I don’t write fiction but I still found this book a fascinating read.