[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
  • Julie Luek

    Hi Julia--Oh I haven't had enough of those writer's highs lately, but I am looking forward to them again! Bliss.

  • Rebecca Ferrell Porter

    Great list, and although I still live with the drudgery of corporate life, I can enjoy the true joy of escaping into my fiction or blog at the end of the day. I can go anywhere, climb into the head of anyone, work out my frustrations or joys with passionate abandon. So, even if I'm writing for only a very few, I have shared my heart with my readers, and I'm thankful for that.

  • Suzanne Hoffman

    I'm with Patricia.  Yes to all the above.  As a "recovering attorney" who at 54 finally realized her passion for writing had nothing to do with briefs and motions, but wine, food and people, I'm in a very happy place.  I grew weary of the law and grew tired of chef hype, choosing instead to tell stories of what it's like behind the scenes in restaurants in Vail Valley and Denver, Colorado and the vineyards of Piemonte and Valais, Switzerland.  Although I published 111 articles in the Vail Daily in the last 22 months, I've been paid squat, but I'm rich in gratitude from the unseen people who create wonderful culinary and oenological experiences.  

  • Patricia Robertson

    Yes to all of the above. After years of dreaming about some day having more time to write, I'm  now in a position to do just that - thanks to the elimination of my jobs and a small pension to pay the bills. I wake up feeling grateful and looking forward to what the day may bring. Another reason I'm grateful for writing is that it makes each day an adventure. I never know where a character might take me, and I like that!

  • Julia Munroe Martin

    In addition to all these great reasons, I'm most grateful for the absolute high I get from writing fiction. It's like an adrenaline rush to sit down and slip into the writer's zone -- and be taken to wherever my characters always are. It's fabulous!

  • Julie Luek

    TJ and as always, you are amazingly supportive. Thank you. 

  • T.J. Loveless

    What a great blog! I needed it today ... as always, Julie, you inspire me.

  • Marilyn Bousquin

    p.s., Julie. As it happens, I've been thinking a lot about writing and gratitude. Just posted a blog on it at Writing Women's Lives.

  • Marilyn Bousquin

    Thank you, Julie Luek, for the opportunity to be grateful for my writing.

  • Julie Luek

    Oh Marilyn, that's perfect. I don't even know what else to add. Perfect. 

  • Marilyn Bousquin

    Love this post, Julie, thank you. I am a grateful writer because writing connects me to my truest self. Writing gives me the opportunity again and again to exercise my voice and to discover who I am and to show up in the world as my authentic self.

  • Julie Luek

    Hi Cindy, number 10 i s my favorite too. I love to write and am always humbled people will read what I write!

  • Cindy Eastman Writing

    Julie, great list...yes to them all. But #10 - that's the one I am really grateful for. I just can't help it, I love to write! Thanks for this post...nice to be reminded how good we have it! :)

  • Julie Luek

    Rebecca-- I agree-- a spouse who makes this possible is a gift. That's definitely a luxury in life. 

  • Julie Luek

    Reese--Yesss, those are very good things to be thankful for!

  • Rebecca M. Douglass

    Great list!  Not that I EVER wear make-up and corporate wear, but yeah, sweats and fuzzy slippers are nice work wear!

    I have to add serious gratitude to a husband with a good job so we can afford to have me be a very-little-paid writer :D

  • Reese Ryan

    So many wonderful reasons to be thankful! I'd say 3,4,5 and 7 are my favorites.

  • Julie Luek

    Hi Tyrean-- It's good to give thanks in all things, especially writing. Have a great holiday. 

  • Tyrean Martinson

    I'm giving thanks for all ten too!!! Thanks for the reminder!

  • Julie Luek

    Thanks ML the Writer. It is a very good life when all is said and done. Now... if we could just get it to pay a bit more. ;)

  • mlswift

    Julie, I can relate to all ten of these. Heck, if I don't have to go anywhere, most days I don't even get out of my pajamas. And since my workspace is my bed...no wonder I always have a yearning for a nap. All the comfy cozy trappings of home. LOVE it, and this post.

  • Julie Luek

    Hi Lisa-- thanks. Yeah it made me feel all cheery inside just to write it! 

  • Lisa Hamer

    This is a fantastic list, Julie...sometimes we might feel in a rut or that no one is listening...Focusing on these amazing blessings associated with writing helps keep things in perspective.  

  • Julie Luek

    Susie-- Thanks for being a great co-worker. ;)

  • Susie Klein

    Julie, this is so wonderful and refreshing! I love the writing community and we need one another, but it is also easy to slip into the complaint mode with people who "get it". Thanks for this great reminder! 
    Susie