Freelance writers are awesome and unique, and sometimes we can be hard to shop for. People don’t realize that many times the gifts we want are the ones that will help our business.
Whether you’re looking for the *perfect* gift for the freelance writer in your life or perhaps need some ideas for a wish-list of your own, we’ve got you covered.
One of the biggest perks of freelance writing is that you can work from anywhere. Help the freelancer in your life work on-the-go with these travel-friendly gift ideas.
Consider gifting the on-the-go writer in your life a subscription to Ulysses. Much more than a cloud-based storage platform, Ulysses allows for crisp, distraction-free writing across many devices (Apple addicts only, sorry Android users!) with plenty of additional benefits.
Writers can save (and search) their work according to project or subject, set writing goals, and even publish directly to WordPress or Medium. Ulysses also makes it easy to attach additional information to projects such as links, attachments, and PDFs.
No matter where your writer writes, they can pick up where they left off with this all-in-one-app.
Protect your laptop at all costs! As one of the most valuable tools a freelance writer has, you want it to be safe, especially when in transit. Enter the laptop bags.
You’ll want to opt for a case that is waterproof, durable, and has sufficient padding to ensure your precious computer stays intact over even on your longest or bumpiest trips.
I’m a big fan of cases that are functional as well as attractive, so design matters. Cases that have both messenger straps and handles allow for both versatility and stylish wearability on the go.
If your freelance writer is living the jet-set life, Away Travel luggage is a must-have item.
With this bag, freelancers on the go will never run out of juice while looking for an empty socket at the airport. Each bag features its very own USB port so you can charge up anywhere.
More than just a “smart-bag,” these cases are ideal for travelers who value organization.
The inside of the luggage has designated compartments for all your travel needs, from clothes and shoes to toiletries.
You won’t find yourself cursing the baggage handlers at the carousel with these cases either. The outer shell is rock solid and designed to bend but never break.
For those who crave security, these bags also feature a built-in TSA-approved lock that’s engaged by the two zippers joining together, so you can secure your belongings with ease.
Notebooks, Planners, and Journals
These aren’t just any ordinary notebooks for all of your precious words.
Before you roll your eyes at what may *seem* like a cliché gift, ask any writer about their notebook of choice. Nine times out of ten, they’ll tell you it’s Moleskine.
Writers of all sorts love Moleskine books. They’re durable, high quality, and come in formats for almost any use. You can choose from hard or soft cover, lined, blank, or graphed pages, and they also come in a variety of colors and sizes.
Moleskine books feel amazing in hand and are perfect for jotting down notes, story ideas and spur-of-the-moment inspirations.
Plus, they’re darn good looking.
If your writer is more digitally inclined, try browsing their collection of smart notebooks.
Evernote Smart Notebooks and Livescribe Notebooks allow writers to seamlessly integrate their written word with technology. Evernote and Livescribe’s partnerships with Moleskine allow the user to digitally archive all their written work in an easily searchable digital format.
Perfect for the stressed-out freelancer, the Five-Minute Journal helps focus you on what matters while increasing your well-being and positivity.
Broken down into morning and night entries, this journal has you starting and ending your day with gratitude, inspiration, and reflection aimed at boosting your happiness.
Freelancers are often juggling many tasks at once. Being able to start each day centered and focused can really set the tone for one heck of a productive day.
Each submission section is guided by questions geared to help you live your best life, in the most positive way possible. The best part? It only takes five minutes of your day.
So much more than your average day planner, the Passion Planner is an ideal gift for both organization and inspiration junkies alike.
While the digital world offers planning apps by the dozen, some of us relish in a physical book where we can plan out our days, weeks, and months in our own handwriting and style.
What’s even more, this planner not only helps you prioritize both your professional and personal life but helps create focus points to concentrate on by day, week, and month.
Although it includes a monthly calendar (with more extras than I’ve seen before), the weekly planning pages are where this planner really shines. Each day is broken down into half-hour increments and headed by “Today’s Focus.”
Each week, the user is given an inspirational quote, a helpful tip for optimal productivity and creativity, and space to create personal and work to-do lists along with blank space for whatever else you may need.
These days, the career of a freelancer (along with most everything else) largely depends on technology. These digital gifts are excellent compliments to any tech-savvy freelancer’s arsenal.
Every writer needs a website.
Whether it’s used to showcase their well-curated portfolio, market their services, or find a home for their blog, having a site is crucial to a writers’ success.
Most domain hosting services primarily offer yearly subscriptions (it’s the gift that won’t quit!), but if you’re looking for something a little less long-term, there are some that offer monthly subscriptions as well.
Each hosting service offers different features, so unless the writer you’re gifting the service to already has been vocal about a specific host, it’s best to ask what their wants or needs may be.
Personally, I use WebHostingHub and have been thrilled with it so far, but there are so many options out there to choose from.
Freelancers are busy, that’s just a fact. When we’re not physically writing or managing our businesses, we’re pitching for work.
However, finding where to pitch can be a time-consuming activity. Contena Academy makes it a cinch with their job finder tool by finding all the best jobs, sorting them by niche and pay rate, and putting them into an easy-to-search database.
With a subscription to Contena Academy, writers can find and apply for jobs with ease and get back to what really matters: writing. It also includes training modules that new writers and vets find very helpful.
Easily one of the most rewarding gifts on this list, Contena Academy is a gift that keeps on giving.
An online course is a fantastic gift for a freelance writer who’s always looking to improve. Or, if you know someone who’s wanted to enter the field, a writing course could be the best gift they receive this year.
Often times, freelancers are jacks-of-all-trades and need to be proficient in various areas. What better way to help your writer master their craft (or start a new one) than with the gift of education?
Whether they’re looking to up their skills in a particular area or learn a new skill altogether, online courses can be a massive boost to any freelancer’s career.
Armed with a little knowledge about the recipient’s wants or needs, gifting an online course is yet another excellent way for your present to pay off in spades.
iTunes/ Google Play Gift Cards
Gift cards never go out of style (or expire!). A gift card to either the Apple or Android marketplace is a great gift because it allows the recipient to choose exactly what they want or need.
Many times, we’ll try out the free version of a great app and never get around to pulling the cord on buying the premium version, no matter how useful it may be.
Whether the card is used to buy and create a writing playlist that helps bust through writer’s block, a paid subscription to an ever-useful app, or solely for a mindless game to play following an all-day-writing session, you can’t go wrong with a gift card.
Virtual Assistant Services
As you may know, freelancers more than have their hands full, which is why they often turn to virtual assistants for help.
A great gift for a busy freelancer would be a week or month’s worth of virtual assistant services.
Virtual assistants can help with email management, scheduling, bookkeeping, and online research, just to name a few essential tasks.
What better of a gift can one give than an extra set of hands?
Keep in mind you might want to make this an IOU or homemade gift certificate and let the recipient choose the VA that would best fit their needs.
Lifestyle and Home Gifts
Since many freelance writers live and work in the same space, gifts for the home and everyday life are warmly welcomed. Check out these gift ideas that will help any freelancer be more comfortable at their workspace while working on their craft.
It can be overwhelming keeping track of deadlines, ideas, and notes. With a whiteboard, all of the important stuff is in view and therefore, much less likely to be forgotten. Coupled with some snazzy colored markers, it can even become a work of art.
For those especially deadline-conscious writers, a weekly calendar whiteboard is a great way to keep your week organized.
Some brands come with a whiteboard/corkboard combination so you really can get the best of both worlds. Plus, it looks way better than a horde of post-it notes stuffed on the wall (trust me, I know).
As a writer, I’m sitting at my desk for hours on end. It doesn’t matter how comfortable or supportive my chair may be, after a long day at the keyboard, my back is in knots.
A gift certificate for a much-needed massage is a thoughtful way to pamper even the most stressed freelancer. Massage Envy would be my pick as it’s a well-known chain exclusively made up of certified practitioners.
Another plus, there are locations almost everywhere across the country, making this a great gift for even the most far-away freelancer.
Also known as our lifeblood, coffee is the quickest way to any freelancer’s heart.
Gifting a bag of upscale java is an amazing present, especially if it’s a swanky type we wouldn’t dare splurge on ourselves.
If coffee isn’t your game (and in that case, I’m not so sure I can trust you) opt for a loose tea blend that will transport the writer into the company of oh-so-many tea loving famous writers. Literary greats such as Jane Austen, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Stephen King have all been rumored to be big tea drinkers.
“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” -C.S. Lewis
If drinking your caffeine isn’t your “cup of tea” (pun intended) try gifting a package of caffeinated mints or chocolate chews. They’re sweet treats with a serious buzz that will rev up even the most tired of freelancers.
Gifting memories can be the greatest gifts of all, and are something a freelancer may not be willing to splurge on for themselves!
A Night Away
Ask a writer what they *really* want, and you’ll most likely hear “some peace and quiet!” in response. Between never-ending responsibilities (triple that if you have a family) and looming deadlines, there never seems to be enough time in a day to sit and write in peace.
The gift of a night (or two) away in a quiet hotel is an ideal gift for those looking for the solace a writer needs to get their work done.
By gifting a night/weekend away, you’re giving that special writer in your life their very own personalized writer’s retreat.
Services such as a babysitting or house cleaning can be a massive weight off of a freelancer’s shoulders.
Having one of the above gifted to a work-from-home freelancer?
A near priceless present!
When work piles up, having a someone come and help out with household chores can make all the difference between a focused writer and a frazzled one.
For freelancers with kids who may not be able to swing a whole overnight away, consider gifting them with a babysitter for a day or evening. Just a few hours out of the house (or in the house, undisturbed) may be just what the doctor ordered to get their creative juices flowing and their work completed.
After speaking with my freelancer mastermind group, the majority said that their number one wish-list item was a professional organizer. As a freelancer, we can accumulate a ton of notes, files, books, and more, and getting organized is a gift with a huge return.
Sometimes all we need is a push in the right direction to create a lasting filing system that will help make our jobs easier for years to come. Having the help of a professional is a present that will continue to pay off, weeks and months down the line. (If you’re thinking of sending me a gift from this awesome list, let it be this!).
One-on-One Consultation Session
Many experts offer consultations as part of their service offerings. From literary agents to editors, giving the gift of knowledge from prominent members in the field is indispensable and a gift that is sure to wow.
Another consultation that came highly recommended by other freelancers is a consult with a graphic designer.
Gifting a session with a graphic designer can help the writer in your life create a brand logo or other integral design features that can be used across their site, portfolio, invoicing, social media, and so much more.
One of the most valuable and treasured gifts I’ve ever received as a freelancer was a one-on-one consultation with a veteran freelancer when I had just started out. That conversation was so jammed packed with actionable advice that the impact lasts even to this day.
Looking for “a little something” extra to gift your favorite freelancer? Try one of these stocking stuffer ideas that are sure to please and won’t break the bank!
Is the writer in your life always searching for a working pen? Look no further than The Seven Year Pen.
This pen has enough ink to write over 5.5 feet a day, for (as the name suggests) SEVEN years. They come in over 30 different designs, so there’s a pen for every personality.
For less than $9, this pen makes a perfect stocking stuffer that will stand the test of time.
Most freelancers work out of their homes. Every now and again we need to get out and about, even if just for a change of scenery.
While it may seem like a stereotype, Starbucks is still a top choice for writers looking to get away from their home office.
A gift card is an easy and affordable way to say to your writer “get out of the house and go treat yourself!”
If you’re still stuck on a great gift idea, you can’t go wrong with a thoughtful subscription.
Consider going “old-school” with a print subscription to The New Yorker or The New York Times so your freelancer can keep up with all the latest news and trends.
Writer’s Digest is another extremely useful resource and is ultra-affordable at less than $20 for a whole year.
Subscriptions are available at intervals ranging from a just a few months to a year, and even beyond. They also come in at varying price points, so there really is a subscription for every price range.
Now go shopping!
There you have it, a gift list that has something on it for every freelancer. Happy shopping everyone!