[Making the Leap] Be A Thankful Writer

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!

But wait

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.




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Tags: Thanksgiving, writer, writing


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Comment by Joanne C. Hillhouse on January 10, 2014 at 5:02pm

Loved this and it's so true. I consider wearing whatever I want to work to be one of the biggest perks...I still have meetings though so I do have to dress the part now and again. I too am working on accentuating the positive. I posted two blogs late last year on just that. Sharing them here in case you want to check them out http://jhohadli.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/thankful-thoughts/  and http://jhohadli.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/12-moments/ Here's hoping we all continue to find reasons to be positive in spite of the bumpiness of the writing life.

Comment by Julie Luek on December 11, 2013 at 1:33pm

Hi Mark-- Oh I will watch this! I'm a huge TED fan. Thank you!

Comment by Julie Luek on December 11, 2013 at 1:33pm

Hi Jessika-- thanks for stopping by (and my blog too). I agree-- it's a good gig!

Comment by Jessika Fleck on December 11, 2013 at 11:06am

Wonderful! Yoga pants... Coffee and chocolate at the ready... We've got a pretty good gig here :)

Comment by Mark Hughes on December 6, 2013 at 9:57am

I agree with all your points, and add that I like the serendipitous nature of the research into material for stories. Amy Tan discusses this in her TED Talk, which is worthwhile (as they tend to be). See if you can guess what's in the bag at her feet before her talk is over. A hint is that it contains her muse...

Comment by Julie Luek on December 6, 2013 at 7:28am

B. Lynn-- And we writers thank you for the help. 

Nina-- I did that for decades as well. I firmly believe there are chapters in life, and for a long time,I was in a career chapter (and very grateful for that as well). 

Comment by Nina Gaby on December 6, 2013 at 4:35am
Due to the time constraints of a very busy job, I have had to put a lot of my creativity on the back burner for now. I am SO THANKFUL, however, for the knowledge that it all just sits there waiting for me.
Comment by B. Lynn Goodwin on December 5, 2013 at 3:21pm

Of course I'm grateful for my writing life. Otherwise I'd do something else. I especially love my ah-ha moments and helping other writers. 


Comment by Julie Luek on December 5, 2013 at 11:42am

Rebecca-- but I do appreciate you stopping by; I really must comment! ;)  But yes, off I go now. 

Comment by Rebecca Ferrell Porter on December 5, 2013 at 11:12am

Now Julie, you can hide forever. Get in there in spiff things up. You'll feel great and sleep better. At least that's what I'm telling myself as it's time to turn around and dig back into my first draft. So many holes to plug, but that is my process.

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