Still thankful…

As I struggled to find a topic for today’s blog, I was skimming through some old RWI President’s columns I had written, trying to find inspiration.  Part of the problem is that I hate the non-writing things a writer has to do to be a professional these days of the ‘Net.  On another writers’ loop, we’re having a discussion about the Internet and the writer.  One multi-published author stated that at their present publishing house, her latest manuscript was rejected…because the author didn’t have a strong enough Web presence.

I have to admit, that sent terror through me.  Back before EVERYONE was on the web, when having a website was cutting edge promoting, I had two eBooks published.  Because my publisher was an electronic publisher, I had to do most of the promotion.  As dedicated a publisher as Hard Shell Word Factory is, they simply didn’t have the distribution that my first publisher, Silhouette, did.

I did it all; created a website, joined tons of readers’ loops, sent review copies to every site I could.  Whether my efforts paid off or not, I can’t say.  But I do know that it cut into my writing time in a major way.  In fact, most of the non-writing parts of writing do the same.  At times, I wonder if it’s worth the hassle.  Then I re-read the following:

“…while watching the brisk autumn wind toss around the brightly colored fall leaves, I realized that Thanksgiving was on its way.  And that made me think of all the things I have to be thankful for as a writer.

     First, of course, is that I am a writer.  That I have this gift, this drive, or maybe you could even say this curse to put down on paper my characters and their lives.  Plus, I’m thankful that I live in a country where I can write what I want without fear.

     Other things I’m thankful for?  I’m grateful that I actually get paid for my writing, even if I’m not making a living at it.  I’m thankful for the faith of my friends and family in my writing.  And I’m deeply indebted for the support and understanding of fellow writers and the resources of my professional organizations such as RWA, RWI, and OWFI.  All the things that help get me through the anguish and joy of writing.

     So as the season comes closer, make your own list of what makes you thankful to be a writer.  Maybe it will help you through those periods when the words won’t come or your hero is acting like a jackass or your dialogue sucks pond water.”

That’s what it all comes down to, isn’t it?  Despite the aggravations, despite the actions you really hate to do, being a writer is worth it all.  So, yeah.  I’m still thankful that I’m a writer.  Warts and all!

4 thoughts on “Still thankful…

  1. Jackie,

    I love this column! As I started reading about the non-writing aspects of writing cutting into your creative time, I realized that it really has to be approached logically. Marketing is expected these days and a good marketing plan can make the difference between being successful and not (or of even getting a contract!)

    I think you can overdo either sides of the equation. If you avoid all the ‘stuff’ that is not writing, you can crawl into your writing and lose perspective. If you spend too much time on the marketing and not enough on the story, you can deliver a substandard product.

    But to take the topic and use it to remember to be thankful that this is a problem that you have–is genius. I am thankful for the creative outlet and for the headaches of the non-writing aspects. I am glad to be a part of the effort regardless. spw

  2. Great post, Jackie.
    I think it took my father dying for me to truly awaken. Strange, huh? Life is so precious, and I’m thankful to enjoy the journey.
    Writing is a curse/blessing. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

  3. I’ve always considered myself extremely lucky to be able to spend time and earn money doing something I love. There are parts of the business that drive me nuts– promotion, revisions, etc. But the upside is worth putting up with the downside. I look back at other jobs I’ve held and think if I were still doing them, I’d be brain-dead, stuck in a rut too deep to ever get out.

    I love writing. Love publishing. Love playing with the people in my head.

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