[Making the Leap] Be A Thankful Writer
Contributor
Written by
Julie Luek
November 2013
Contributor
Written by
Julie Luek
November 2013

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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Comments
  • Joanne C. Hillhouse

    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.

  • Julie Luek

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

  • Julie Luek

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

  • Jessika Fleck

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

  • Mark Hughes

    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...

  • Julie Luek

    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). 

  • Nina Gaby

    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.

  • B. Lynn Goodwin

    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. 

    www.writeradvice.com

  • Julie Luek

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

  • Rebecca Ferrell Porter

    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.

  • Julie Luek

    Talya-- Yes ma'am. ;)

  • Talya Tate Boerner

    Amen! 

  • Julie Luek

    Mayra-- Thanks for the friend invite :) Love those. Yes, yes and yes again, WHEW, writing is hard work. I'm actually right smack dab in the midst of avoidance behavior with a horribly written first draft that needs major editing and revision. Gee, I hope more people leave comments here so I have a legit reason to keep avoiding that task! ;)

  • Julie Luek

    Marilynn--I wonder how many artists/creative souls share your thoughts on feeling a little out of step with everyone else. You bring up a  good point: writing can let us create a world and express thoughts without judgment or question. 

  • Julie Luek

    Veronica-- Love this: I could give you a hundred... or more... reasons why I write, but it really all comes down to this...Writing feeds my soul... and I need no other reason than that to write.

  • Mayra Calvani

    I forgot to add...

    Every book that I’ve written has been hard to write. Though writing is my life and, in a way, like breathing, I have a love & hate relationship with it. First of all, the mechanics of the craft are always a challenge: constructing the plot, creating the characters, balancing all the elements, i.e. description, dialogue, narrative, symbolic imagery, etc. Then there’s the word choice and the agonizing over verbs, adjectives, adverbs.

    Besides this, there’s the emotional aspect of the journey: struggling with the inner critic, bouts of self doubt, writer’s block, irritability over not writing, dealing with negative criticism, remorse due to sacrificing time with family and friends, spending hours, days, months, years sitting at the computer without any assurance that the book will be read by enough people or earn enough money to make all that time worthwhile.

    But as writers, we are artists, and the artist’s soul is an interesting, compulsive animal. Writing is our vocation, our drug, and we must have a regular fix or go insane.

    At the end, after a good writing day which may happen while still experiencing all of the above, I’m sweetly exhausted and at peace. :-)

  • Mayra Calvani

    Great post! I'm right there with you, sister! :-)

    Mayra...who just added you as a friend.

  • Marilynn Tebbit

    I am now very grateful as I have had a novel accepted for publication for the first time. Until then, I considered myself cursed because of what I was born to be. (dreamer, loser, misfit) If I could have chosen my calling, I would have picked something more financially remunerating, such as investment banker. To earn my living, I would not do anything that took up too much time or mental space to interfere with the only work which really engaged me. Creating stories. Art was something I did to escape emotional pain and kill time, like when being stood up on dates. I became quite good at painting. Now I'm used to being alone and painting is a relaxing (though sometimes challenging) technical puzzle when I'm burned out of writing. But I'm a writer first, & esp right now. I haven't been painting much. I make no money from writing yet, but at least it's cheap entertainment. A close 2nd love: reading. Love it! The library is like guiltless and affordable shopping - I'll take this one, that one, why not, throw that in too. Used book stores. New ones. Treasures everywhere. Opens the mind to possibilities - for writing and life - sometimes too much to click with those around me. I've always been accepted at arm's length. So I kept moving to bigger places. I now live somewhere where there's not much of a standard to fit in with - except a collection of individuals, also pursuing their own thing. I feel more accepted here - only everyone's time is at such a premium. I'm a hands-on person; the computer is not a replacement for friends and companionship - but it's great to help find some. I'm grateful for my life which has given me so many stories & unusual circumstances, and that I've learned to take care of my health.

  • With only a couple of minor changes - I sit on the board of a foundation but have never worked in the corporate worldand I haven't yet made any money from my writing - this list is me!  ABSOLUTELY!  Thank you so much for sharing!

    Seeing my name in print cancels out the rejections... every time!

    I could give you a hundred... or more... reasons why I write, but it really all comes down to this...

    Writing feeds my soul... and I need no other reason than that to write.

  • D,G. Kaye

    I could feel it in your writing! :) Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Julie Luek

    D.G. -- Oh I'm so glad it was encouraging. It was fun (and healthy) for me to write too, for very much the same reasons. 

  • D,G. Kaye

    I loved this blog Julie! It reinstilled in me the positivity of our freedoms to be a writer when the negative self- criticisms attack our self confidence!

  • Julie Luek

    Rebecca-- love this: I have shared my heart with my readers. That is so soul-satisfying.

  • Julie Luek

    Suzanne-- we are CO neighbors. I too got out of my higher ed career path to pursue writing. I too get paid squat. I too wouldn't trade it for anything. 

  • Julie Luek

    Patricia-- I love how you put this: I never know where a character may take me. Let's hear it for the imagination adventure.