By Marilyn Turk
As we approach Thanksgiving, I’m counting my blessings as a writer. So often we writers tend to look at where we have failed. We focus on the rejections, the wasted time, the unfinished projects, the guilt of abandoning our families to write, the self-doubts about our ability – in other words, the half-empty glass.
But as I contemplated why I’m thankful to be a writer, I discovered many more blessings than negatives. Here are some of the things I’m thankful for. You might like to add some of your own.
- I work for myself, that is, I have no earthly boss. Only God (and occasionally my husband) looks over my shoulder.
- I get to work at home, which means I can wear what I want to wear and not put on makeup if I’m not leaving the house. My poor husband is the only person who has to look at me like this.
- I set my own hours and work at my own pace. I can go to lunch and take breaks whenever I want to.
- I can decide what I want to write about – blog, novel, devotion, even genre – romance or suspense.
- I get to set my own goals – word count, number of books, proposals to write, etc.
- I get to meet other authors and share our creative minds which are sometimes scary to “normal” people.
- People buy my books.
- People read what I write.
- People (most) like what I write.
- As a historical writer, research is part of my job, and I love to do research!
- Strangers are sometimes impressed to find out I’m a writer and treat me like I’m someone special.
- I get invited to speak for various groups.
- Sometimes I get emails, letters or gifts from readers who were blessed by something I wrote.
- My kids are impressed by my accomplishments. (finally, they notice me.)
- I’m still learning. Writing is an ongoing educational process and there are many resources available.
- The Internet. Research is so much easier today than it was for writers fifty years ago.
- Email. I can keep in touch with readers, other authors, editors, publishers, plus send in manuscripts via email. Did you know they used to be sent in hard copy?
- The ability to brainstorm new ideas for stories.
- Writing mentors who’ve paved the way for me so I have a path to follow.
- People who pray for me and my writing.
- Sometimes, I actually get paid for my writing.
- A husband that supports my writing (in more ways than one).
- Time to write.
- Freedom to have my work published.
- I’m thankful for every teacher who ever taught me English and writing, yes, even my journalism professors who taught me the importance of deadlines.
- The work I have completed so far.
- The work I will complete in the future.
- The opportunities available to me.
- Editors who fix my mistakes.
- Critique partners who lovingly offer their advice.
And most of all, I’m thankful to God for affirming my writing dream and giving me the ability to pursue it.