Ten Last-Minute Gifts for Your Favorite Writer

Last week, writing friend Jill Kemerer posted a blog titled The Gift I Want but Hate to Admit, and I gotta say, it resonates with me. A day with no obligations and magically-appearing food (and disappearing dishes) sounds heavenly.

With all the hustle and bustle and shopping and gift-giving that comes with this season, it’s easy to feel the pressure to spend, spend, SPEND! And yet sometimes the best gifts—especially for those with a yearning to create—don’t cost a penny. I know, I know: most of you guys reading my blog are writers. The list below is probably full of things you want to receive, not gifts you want to give.

But you know, maybe your loved ones would thank you for a few gift ideas that wouldn’t break the bank this holiday season, especially if those ideas might make you ridiculously happy….


Ten Last-Minute Gifts for Your Favorite Writer

  1. 24 hours of solitude (thanks for the idea, Jill!)photo
  2. An evening a week to write—a gift that could last the whole year :)
  3. A weekend writing retreat: Heck, we can dream, right? But this doesn’t have to be pricey—investigate house-sitting options, or bribe a friend to give the writer in your life a room with a desk for a few days of creativity.
  4. Notebooks, pens, cute little paper clips: but beware, many writers have strong feelings about their writing implements
  5. A book place: a chair, corner, even a closet made cozy for reading and writing
  6. A sacred sign: WRITING, DO NOT DISTURB
  7. A writing organizer: with a bit of creativity, you can create a novel-writer’s “project board” from index cards, post-it notes, poster board, even a strip of lattice like this room divider my sweetheart hung for me. Large ones invite expansive brainstorming sessions; smaller one are portable and perhaps less intimidating.
  8. A library book: nope, not kidding on this one. Our first Christmas together, my husband and I were just out of college and dirt poor. He couldn’t find (or probably afford) the book he wanted to give me for Christmas—so he tracked it down at the local library, checked it out, and wrapped it up for me. Most books aren’t ones we read and re-read, so it makes a strange sort of sense to gift titles from the library: once read, it can go back into circulation rather than taking up space in your home. If you go with this one, be sure to choose a book that the gift-ee wouldn’t have found on his or her own—the real gift is the discovery of a new story, not the physical text.
  9. A writing emblem: Gift your writer with some kind of object she can hold or look at to inspire and ground her. This should be something small, like a dragon figurine for the fantasy writer in your life or a Whiney Writer mug for the author embarking on the submission process or a seaside-scented candle for the novelist writing seaside romance.
  10. Last but not least, the best gift you could possible give a would-be writer: Permission to write. Because we wouldn’t get far without all the spouses, kids, parents, pets, friends, and family who love us, support us, encourage us, and celebrate our desire to create.

Happy and blessed holidays to all my writing friends and all the non-writers who put up with us!

:) Cheryl

The hidden price of "productivity" every writer needs to know - www.cherylreif.com

You’ve probably read the same tips I have: Have a smart phone? Check Facebook while standing in line at the post office! Respond to Twitter messages while waiting for your dentist! Catch up on your news feed while sitting on the pot! For years, I thought the path to increased productivity was to squeeze in MORE–more […]


  1. says

    GREAT list! Now if only I can pass this on to my family/friends… :)

    I feel slightly guilty this year. Instead of staying longer with my family, I’m driving back to my place next Wednesday and have already taken Thurs-Friday off. I could stay and play with my nephews and cook with my mom, but this year, I’m treating myself to two days of writing.

    The only problem now is trying to not fill those sacred days with fun stuff like lunches with friends. I need discipline! :)

    Happy Holidays!

    • Cheryl Reif says

      Ha! I already showed mine :), although I must confess they’re already pretty wonderful about supporting my writing. Congrats on getting a few days to devote to writing! I expect a full report!!

  2. says

    Great ideas! I love #8. This year, I’ve become a huge fan of my local library. I get on their website and place holds on books, and when they come in, its as good as a visit to the bookstore. Because of all this, another suggestion for those who are feeling more flush is a donation to the library in a writer’s name.

    • Cheryl Reif says

      Hi Charlotte~Occasionally I will head to the library when I’m fighting the urge to hit the bookstore. It’s incredibly satisfying to come home with a pile of books. The library is one place I can go wild without breaking the bank!