The Writer's Cookbook

Writing, productivity, publishing.

Christmas Present Ideas for Writers

Like it or not, the holiday season is officially here.

I love giving and receiving presents, but the people around me are super difficult to buy for. People say they don’t want a present, but if they buy you something and you don’t buy them anything, things get awkward.

But what on earth do you buy a writer?

I’ve written a Christmas gift guide for writers before.

Since that post is a few years old, I’ve decided to do an updated version for 2017.

Scrivener 3

For the disorganised mind, Scrivener is the perfect tool.

Whether the writer in your life uses Scrivener or not, they’ll appreciate the latest version, which came out at the end of November.

There are lots of books and courses out there on how to use it, too, so if they’re new to one of the most versatile writing programs out there, they’ll have plenty of resources to help them get their head around it.

You can download Scrivener 3 from Literature and Latte’s website, or the App Store.

The latest version is only available for Mac OS X Sierra and High Sierra.

A new version for Windows will be out in 2018.

Tickets to a writing conference

In every career it’s as much about what you know as whom. Writing is no different. Why not buy the writer in your life tickets to a writing conference?

Why not buy the writer in your life tickets to a writing conference? #ChristmasGiftIdea Click To Tweet

Most 2018 dates will be out now, and most big cities/counties/states will have their own. There are conferences out there for most genres and forms of writing.

Don’t forget to factor in the costs of travel and hotels if it’s not in their hometown, though.

A simple search for ‘writing conference’ followed by the type of writing or genre in question should bring up local search results. If you’re looking for a different location to where you live, add in the nearest big city to where your writer friend lives, or search using Incognito mode to ensure that your previous search history/your location doesn’t influence the results.

Note-taking app

There are lots of note-taking apps out there. They all have different features and functionalities, so it’s worth researching what features your writing friend would benefit from the most before purchasing a subscription for them.

Evernote and Bear are two of the most versatile, and offer features such as multi-device sync, and calendar integration.

However, if they already use a note-taking app and have hundreds of notes to move across, it’s probably better to go for a different gift idea.

Janet Murray’s Media Diary

Janet Murray knows her stuff.

Her 2018 Media Diary will help the writer in your life to plan out their content for the whole of 2018. Janet has also put together a Media Diary Owners’ Club, and has courses on how best to use it.

Music streaming service subscription

Music can have a huge affect on our moods. Listening to music, therefore, can be hugely influential on the scenes a writer crafts.

Whether it’s a subscription to Spotify, Apple Music, or Tidal, giving a writer access to millions of songs can kick-start their creativity much faster than a 15-track album.

They can also use the services to create playlists based on their works-in-progress, or the mood that they want to create, and share them with their audience.

Productivity for Writers

I wrote Productivity for Writers to help other writers escape the road blocks that I have so often faced.

If the writer in your life wants to write but struggles to find the time or the motivation, this is the perfect book for them.

Productivity for Writers is available on Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, and more.

View the full list of places to purchase Productivity for Writers.

Over to You

What are you buying the writer in your life for Christmas? Share your ideas in the comments below!

5 Christmas present ideas for writers: Click To Tweet

Scrivener 3 Review

I’ve been a huge fan of Scrivener for a few years now, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Scrivener 3 when it came out.

I’d originally planned to do a video review, but things didn’t quite go according to plan. Rather than keep you waiting a little while longer, I decided to do a written review of Scrivener 3 instead.

Here we’ll explore some of the big differences between Scrivener 2 and Scrivener 3, and look at the new features of Scrivener 3, to help you decide if it’s for you.

Read More

You can get over your anti-failure mindset. If you're ready to.

How to Defeat Your Fear of Failure

Nobody likes to fail. Failing is horrible. It’s a sign that you’re a failure and will never achieve anything worthwhile in life.

Or is it?

When we look at other people, we only see their successes. We don’t see their hundreds of unpublished manuscripts, or the rejection letters, or the failed marketing tactics. We see that they have something that we want, and we’ll never get it because we suck and they’re awesome.


Stop right there.

Go splash some cold water over your face then come back.

I’ll wait.

Read More

Here's why the best readers make the best writers.

Why do the Best Readers Make the Best Writers?

So you want to write a book.

Or maybe you want to write some poetry, or even some copy.

You know what you need to do first?


Read More

Discover how to write about manic depression, otherwise known as bipolar disorder.

How to Write Bipolar Disorder, or Manic Depression

Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is defined by rapid mood swings.

Not the kind that you get as a teenager when hormones run riot, though.

These mood swings are much, much more dramatic.

On good days, those with bipolar feel like they’re so invincible they can fly.

On bad days, their depression is so crippling that just getting out of bed is the hardest thing in the world.

Read More

Marketing Terms Every Writer Needs to Know

There are so many marketing terms out there it can be difficult to keep up.

Marketing websites throw them around, assuming you know what they mean. If you don’t, you have to trawl the internet to find the definition you want. Even then, you’ve got to get your head around it. Sometimes that’s easier said than done.

Just a few years ago, most of these terms made no sense to me.

So that you don’t have to go through what I did, I’ve compiled a list of every marketing term you’ll ever need to know.

The list is alphabetised to make it easy to search, but some terms will make more sense when you’ve read the related terms, too.

Read More

Stuck in a writing funk? Here's how to get out of it.

How to Get Out of Your Writing Funk

So you’re stuck in a funk and you don’t know how to get out.

Well you’ve come to the right place.

I used to get stuck a lot.

Truth is, I still do sometimes.

But it’s my job to write content. I can’t afford to get stuck.

So here’s what I do instead.

Read More

Got a Question About Writing or Productivity?

Got a question about writing and productivity?

Don’t know who to ask?

You’ve come to the right place!

No question is a stupid question

It helps to have a mentor.

I wish I’d had one when I first started out: someone I could ask seemingly silly questions to without being laughed at.

But I didn’t have anyone.

So here I am, giving you the opportunity that I never had: to ask your writing questions and get them answered.

Whatever your question is on writing and productivity, just drop me an email. I’ll pick one question to answer each month.

All questions will be answered anonymously, so you don’t need to worry about feeling self-conscious or anyone finding out it it was you. It can be scary to admit that you’re a writer—especially if your family and friends aren’t supportive—so rest assured that your secret is safe with me!

I promise to never, ever pass your details on to anyone else.

You’ll only hear directly from me about my books, my blog posts, and anything else I think you’ll find cool or interesting.

You can check out past questions on Medium.

Past Writing and Productivity Questions

I’ll update these each month with new questions 🙂

Don’t forget…

As a member of my mailing list, as well as getting your writing and productivity questions answered, you’ll also receive my monthly blog post roundup to ensure you never miss the latest writing and productivity advice, and you’ll get my Essential Writing Ingredients ebook!

Phew, that’s a lot!

And it doesn’t cost you a penny 🙂

Free writing advice just for you?

What are you waiting for? 😉


Get out of your rut and find what you need to write great fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and scripts with these essential writing ingredients! Download your free ebook today.

Introducing the Essential Writing Ingredients ebook!

Last week, I had an idea.

Since then, it’s been pretty much all I’ve been able to think about.

And finally, finally here it is!

Introducing the Essential Writing Ingredients ebook!

Whether you write fiction, poetry, nonfiction, or scripts, the essential writing ingredients are the same.

No, seriously.

I write fiction, poetry, scripts, blog posts, product copy, email materials, social media posts, and more, and these rules always apply.

Get your free copy now

Join other talented writers on my mailing list and you’ll also receive:

  • A link to join the Productivity for Writer’s Facebook community
  • The latest posts from The Writer’s Cookbook
  • Your writing questions answered in my monthly email
  • And of course, your free copy of Essential Writing Ingredients


All you need to do is fill in the form below 🙂

Happy writing!

Should you write how you speak? Whether you write fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, the same rule applies.

Should You Write How You Speak?

We were all taught in school that nonfiction should be written formally. Don’t use contractions, metaphors, or similes, and don’t acknowledge the reader in any way.

And you know what?

For academic writing, that’s just fine.

But you’re in the real world now.

Read More

Page 1 of 21

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.