Columns > Published on February 7th, 2020

Valentine's Day Gifts for Writers

You poor soul, if you are reading this you are either a writer or romantically involved with a writer. My condolences. Writers are the worst: self-centered, egotistical, insecure, and they write articles on LitReactor self-projecting all their bullshit. But the worst thing about writers is trying to figure out what to get those jerks for Valentine’s Day.

Seriously, writers just read and write books and complain on the internet. Besides suffering and rejection, what do writers even enjoy?

They enjoy writing and they enjoy hating writing. So here are some Valentine’s Day gifts to help writers be better at the thing they hate and love.

Comfy Writing Chair

If your significant other really enjoys writing at a desk, then skip this. But you know what? Fuck desks. I hate them. I’ve hated sitting at Saw-like contraptions since grade school. Why do I want to sit in something that recalls psychological misery and discomfort? Nah, I want a comfy chair where I can feel calm. I like to put a pillow (specifically a throw pillow, which finally has some utility!) on my lap and place my laptop on top and then BOOM, I’m writing. I feel good, my back feels good, and I can get into the flow. If your significant other is dreading the desk, maybe have them try this. Also fuck throw pillows, but they are good for lap-writing on a comfy chair.

[amazon B07DNTT8MR inline]


Communication Skills for Dummies

Are you with one of those writers? You know, the ones who use social media like it’s a fucking sport to see how many people they can piss off and bridges they can burn in a night? I’ve seen brilliant writers, bad writers, and ok writers use the internet for their own self-destructive amusement for a long time now. I’m not sure if the cause is psychological, shitty social skills, or an attempt to build a persona. Whatever, I’m so tired and burnt out with all this nonsense. Who cares at this point? It’s not like they are going to change. This book is probably pointless. It's actually a shitty gift when you think about it, because the writers who need books like these most are the last to use them. Buy it anyways for your misanthropic and angry writer lover.

[amazon 1118401247 inline]



When I’m old and hopefully a B + List writer, and they ask me what writers need the most, I’m just gonna say fiber, because the only thing that’s given me writer’s block, besides depression, is constipation. If I’m not flowing, I’m not flowing, so to speak. Diet and lifestyle is personal, but if you’re not getting enough fiber, it can’t be good for your writing. *in old man voice* Make sure to take a good shit in the morning, so you don’t take one on the page. 

[amazon B00CX3ASFE inline]


Pickleball Racket (or some other social hobby)

I know it goes against some nonsensical romanticism that writers should be pure loners toiling away on their books, but that’s bullshit. Writers need social interactions outside of the jobs they tend to hate or are underpaid for, like adjuncting. They need interactions that they at least moderately enjoy. If you’re still reading this you're probably thinking: this Christoph is a misanthropic crank. This is only partially true, because I have a life outside of the internet and  I enjoy playing Pickleball. Getting your significant other writer to take up a hobby will not only be a gift for them, it will also be a gift for yourself. Trust me.

[amazon B08283YZGM inline]

An Online Writing Class

LitReactor didn’t force me to write this final one, but a writing class is probably the best gift you can give to a writer. You don’t have to use LitReactor—hell, any class can be a great gift for a writer—but I think LitReactor is the best ways to go. It will give the writer a sense of community, they’ll learn a few things (I stopped using semi-colons every other sentence after taking a class) and they can get real world feedback. They’ll hate it at first, but 1-10 years later they’ll appreciate it.

Upcoming Classes

Got a writer in your love life? What are you getting them this V-Day?

About the author

Christoph Paul is the Managing Editor and owner of CLASH Books, who have published over 60 books and have been covered by NPR, Poets & Writers, Rolling Stone, Believer Magazine, Oprah Magazine, The Observer, Fangoria, and Publisher's Weekly. The press has had books translated into Spanish, French, and Italian. He has been editing books in almost every genre for over a decade. As an author, he won a humor award and had viral cult success under a pen name. He is the lead singer and bass player of the rock band The Dionysus Effect, who have received positive reviews in Loudwire, EARMILK, and Red Rock Magazine. He sometimes writes songs about the books he publishes because even artists are inspired by their day jobs. Follow him on Twitter @christophpaul_ @clashbooks @dionysuseffect.

Reedsy Marketplace UI

1 million authors trust the professionals on Reedsy. Come meet them.

Enter your email or get started with a social account: