I read a lot of writers’ blogs. I follow a lot of writers on Facebook and Twitter. My conclusion? There are a plethora of posts, Tweets and status updates about the writing life. General consensus: it’s not always easy.
Writers put in long hours with lots of forehead-to-desktop action trying to come up with creative ideas with just the right words. The publishing industry is topsy-turvy and doesn’t always show its love either—it’s hard to get a book published these days. It takes a lot of business and marketing savvy and there is no guarantee of advances or incomes. And let’s not forget all the insecurity that surrounds what we do. It’s a hard-knock life for us!
This is the month for giving thanks. I, for one, am grateful for the opportunity that’s been given to me to write. Lately, there’s been an accumulation of events in my life that have taken away my time and focus to put pen to paper. I’ve had to adjust, knowing the circumstances are temporary. But a side-benefit to my atmospheric disturbance—the sunlight in the stormy clouds—is a renewed appreciation for what I have chosen to do and an eagerness to dig back into it when the sky clears again.
In honor Thanksgiving and in a toast to all my writing friends, here is a list of reasons I’m incredibly grateful and fortunate to be a writer:
1. I get to wear very comfortable clothing to my work. There are days I don’t put on makeup, leave my hair in a pony tail, and slip into sweats. Take that, corporate life!
2. Speaking of working conditions, mine are great. A well-stocked kitchen filled with my favorite beverages is nearby. A comfy reading chair, hot bath or sunny deck is available, all in the comfort of a homey atmosphere. If I need a change of scenery, I can work from a coffee shop or college library. Very nice!
3. No one looks over my shoulder telling me how to do my job. I have complete independence with how I arrange my workday, what I do, and how I do it. That also puts a lot of responsibility on me to hold myself accountable, but I’m not complaining.
4. No meetings. I need say nothing more.
5. Reading a variety of books is part of my job. I'm of the belief that reading, no matter the genre, feeds my own writing by exposing me to new styles and voices. It's part of my self-education, and I make sure I incorporate a bit into every day. Yes, Barbara Kingsolver or Stephen King can be considered required reading.
6. My job has variety. I always have numerous projects going. Am I in the mood to write a short post, an article or essay? I can choose.
7. My co-workers are wonderful! Sure, most of them are online, but they’re just a click away and provide me laughter, inspiration and endless soul-support towards our common goal.
8. Selling an essay or article is an unbelievable high. OK, it also comes with a hefty mix of rejections, but when it happens...when I get that acceptance...what a personal, heart-satisfying triumph.
9. I get to see my name in print. Yeah, it’s fun. I admit it.
10. I love to write! I love composing words, orchestrating thoughts and feelings through the written medium and am honored to be allowed to enter people’s lives through what they read. What an incredible gift I’ve been given.
I am so very thankful, as I enter the latter half of my life, to be able to pursue this passion. It’s challenging, frustrating, and downright scary sometimes. But when it clicks, when I get in that creative zone— delighting in the words, losing track of time— it’s oh-so-satisfying, right down to my soul.
Are you a grateful writer? What makes your heart sing about our chosen profession? This week, put away all the complaining, frustration, and pressure of word counts. Take a few minutes in the comments to share and remind your heart why you’re a thankful writer.