Notebooks. You know you've got a drawer full. Every well-intentioned person who buys you a gift thinks a notebook is perfect for a writer. Most writers are more likely to use tear-off pads of paper or sticky notes, just because the notes are easy to post and move around. That doesn't mean we don't appreciate writing-related gifts, though. If you're giving a present to a writer, or if you're hinting for someone else to give you one, why not make it related to their writing genre? It will definitely be something more likely to be used and loved, and isn't that what buying gifts is all about?
For the Romance Writer
Custom Book Charms What's more romantic than a charm bracelet? Dozens of crafts people online will create custom charms from book covers. Give a bracelet full of her entire catalog, or turn a bestseller into a necklace.
A Kindle Unlimited Membership Writers are naturally readers, and romance readers fly through novels in record time. Give the gift of free unlimited reading.
Other People's Love Letters This collection, edited by Bill Shapiro, is a real compilation of found love letters. Lipstick on napkins, stored in cigar boxes, and otherwise put away and meant to stay hidden. These letter could be a wealth of story ideas.
RWA Membership The Romance Writers of America is the premiere writing association for professional romance writers. The benefits are huge, and can take a writer to the next level.
For the Non-Fiction Writer
A Research Trip Whether your favorite author is writing about medieval history or tulip gardens, there's research to be done. Find a spot that fits with his research and fund a trip.
Writer's Market This perennial favorite book is especially useful for non-fiction writers who can break their books up into sub-topics and sell articles about each one. Writer's Market is filled with hundreds of magazines, both paper and only, where writers can sell their work.
Tools of the Trade Find the latest gadget in your writer's chosen niche and give her a treat. It's much easier to write about paper pot making machines or new crafting techniques if it's right at hand to experiment with. Who knows? The new gadget might spark an entirely new book.
For the Science Fiction Writer
A ThinkGeek Gift Certificate Whether your writer loves steampunk, dystopian, militaristic or fantasy science fiction, they'll find a gift they love at the geekiest store online. From t-shirts and toys to kitchen appliances and jewelry, it's nerd heaven in every conceivable genre.
SFWA Membership The Science Fiction Writers of America promote the cause of good SF and fantasy. They provide chat forums for writers, a yearly convention and worldwide acclaim for their Nebula award winners. It's the geek writer's badge of honor, and your writer will love it.
A Giant White Board World-building is complicated, and when you turn it into galaxy building it can become a nightmare. The bigger the board the better, when it comes to space for noting down all the connected parts of a writer's futuristic universe.
Keep the Faith and May the the Force be with You!