3 Things This (or any other) Writer Wants for Xmas

Xmas Tree‘Tis the season to be making a list, checking it twice, giving it to a beta reader, revising it, and eventually going out shopping to fill it. Dad’s are easy. Anything gadgety, and they’re good to go. Mom? If you can’t make her cry with sentiment, go for the jewelry. Then deal out the gift cards for the rest.

But what about that writer in your life? What could make that spinner of tales feel the yuletide cheer? Amy and Amy gave great ideas earlier in the week, and I’ll ditto each of their lists. Adding to them, I give you my list:


Scrivener is a program available for both Mac and Windows users. It’s designed to help keep those long and pesky novels in an easily organized manner that makes structuring and rearranging the novel a million times easier. It breaks down the story to individual chapters or (even better) scenes. No more separate .doc or .docx files to get jumbled or lost like a sock in the dryer. The whole book is in one project in one place. It also includes distraction-free writing, timers, goals, and more. I could go on for an entire post on the benefits. Others already have, so I’ll move on. Price: Mac $45 / PC $40. Discounts available for students and educators.

Writer’s Retreat

This falls under the category of giving your writer time. Vacations are taken for many reasons, whether it’s something fun for the kids, your job whisks you to a convention, or your significant other is looking for something romantic. Why not schedule some time for them to write amidst scenery that sparks creativity? Find a place that resonates with your writer. Taking a hike through the red rocks of Sedona always gets me itching to pound out some prose. Maybe you have an aunt that is willing to let you use her cabin for a few days. All your writer really need is a bed and a desk. Guaranteed, it will be a weekend your writer will be thankful for. Price: Depends on who you know and where you goWarning: Writing Retreats are habit-forming.

Personal Space

I mean this on a couple of levels. The most obvious of which is, let your writer write. If you see your writer in the throes of prose, leave them be. The slightest distraction can throw off their entire groove and have them resenting you the rest of the day. True story. I’m also talking about an actual space to do their work. Yes, writing is work, not some hobby we tinker with when we’re not catering to your whims. Show your writer you care by creating a work space that is their own. A room would be ideal, but a small corner with a desk would be more than enough. Maybe a cork board or wall to pin up notes, or a privacy screen to help block out annoying distractions. Giving your writer space lets them know that what they do matters. Price: Minimal square footage.