KJ’s Best Gifts for Writers

In the most recent episode of the #AmWriting podcast, co-host Jessica Lahey and I offered up—along with my December Keep Your Butt in the Chair Manifesto and a reminder that even though the holidays are upon us, WRITERS GONNA WRITE—a list of some of our favorite writer-y things that we’ve aquired over the years.

Mine, I realize, skewed awfully heavy on the Decoupage Tissue Box covers--but I am telling you, these are great. Everyone needs a tissue box cover, or at least, everyone could USE a tissue box cover, which means they aren’t clutter, they’re useful, lovable, decorative objects. And I swear there’s one for every possible interest on this website. Map of Paris? Check. Prefer a sailing chart? Check. Dogs? Cats? Physics? Got it covered. Find our whole list on the show notes from Episode 32, listen to the episode here (and if you like it, please share!) and meanwhile, here are my writer faves:

Coffee cup made of coffee beans


Vintage grammar chart


Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins


Typewriter alphabet


I’m a big fan of Tiles, which are little, well, tiles, about an inch square with a hole in them that you can keyring to just about anything–and now they come in a flatter size with a sticker, which I fully intend to slap on my laptop. Press a button on the app on your phone, and they play a tiny tinny little tune (and you can locate them on a mao, should they have evaded your home. I usually use them to find my wallet, which is invariably under the seat of my car.


I am a HUGE fan of the Dutch magazine Flow: “A magazine that takes its time, celebrating creativity, imperfection, and life’s little pleasures.” A Flow subscription is not a cheap gift, it’s true, and you might just grab a single issue from the bookstore–but if you do spring for it (or persuade someone to spring for one for you) and you love paper, and illustrations, and stories about slowing down and doing beautiful things with enough Amsterdam honesty that the whole thing doesn’t feel too Pinterest. 


I also love my Utility canvas tote, which has 6 perfect pocket, 3 inside, 3 outside, for my datebook/bullet journal, an iPad mini, a laptop cord, a pocket designated for pens and glasses and lip balm, a phone pocket, a wallet pocket and a other-stuff-pocket. Laptop and a huge pile of books go in the middle, and I wear the strap messenger style. 

If you’d prefer an actual messenger bag with a padded laptop pocket, which the utility bag lacks, here’s the Debrief bag from the same crew. I’m hoping someone gets me their log tote for Christmas. Love them.


It occurs to me that a Literary Box from Quarterly.co would be lovely, although I have never been given one.


I wanted to suggest Tim Grahl’s Productive Writer Course, but it’s closed now. Do yourself a solid and sign up for his email list--I find him to be the most inspirational guy around. Tim talks, and I get writing. And it’s free! Don’t sign anyone else up, though. That would be a terrible present. I mean, a good thing, but a terrible present.


And here’s a little procrastination gift I’ll be giving myself: the Organize 365’s 100 Days Whole House Challenge. It’s like, fifteen minutes a day of planned procrastination but at least at the end, you’re organized! Lisa (host of the Organize 365 podcast, which is a friendly listen with plenty of get-organized ideas) promises a daily task in different areas (kitchen, bedroom, office) that will lead to better organization. It’s not free, mind you, but I think it will be worth it. Of course, I love stuff like that, and I’d rather have a course than a thing (except a lovely useful tissue box cover). I’m not actually sure I’d give this to someone else unless I knew them really well. So, proceed with caution, or treat yourself.  


Jess’s list, which includes Pride and Prejudice tape flags and some awesome notebooks, can be found on her website, here.

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