Update: I first ran this post on Thanksgiving 2011, but it remains one of the most popular on my site. I think it’s a nice one to remind us of all the benefits of the writing life, don’t you?
I’m thankful for a healthy career and all of you, dear readers! You have no idea how happy you make me with your intelligent comments, guest posts, and questions. Thank you so much.
Here’s what some other writers were thankful for:
I’m thankful I’m a writer because it validates my growing up years. Stories churned through my imagination, out on paper, and I wondered why. To spend most every day creating art through words, it is something I never want to take for granted.
“I am thankful to be a writer because it enables me to worship God with my words and also connect with readers who are so special to me. I love that my books provide a means for me to get to know and pray for them. I love my readers and am so thankful for them! I am also thankful to be a writer because I can work from home (in my pajamas!), set my own hours and work around family and church stuff.”
As a freelance writer, I am thankful for the opportunity to help people share their stories and experiences with others. Sometimes that allows people to make good out of tragedy.
I am thankful for the chance I have to learn new things, and to interview fascinating people whose expertise is both vast and deep.
I am thankful for the ability to work wherever and whenever I want. Inspiration can strike at unexpected times in unusual places.
I am thankful for the flexibility to cover topics that catch my fancy, even if they aren’t part of my professional specialty. Writing expands my world.
I am thankful that my children see that their mother loves her work, and that she still makes time to be with them throughout the day, when they’re hungry for her attention or have a story to share.
I am thankful for the opportunity to put my thoughts on paper. It is cheaper than therapy and more gratifying than talking to myself. And it’s probably saved my marriage.
As a freelance writer, I am grateful for the chance to make my own career so that it perfectly fits my lifestyle, instead of making my lifestyle a slave to an imperfect career.
I’m thankful to be a writer each time I get emails from readers sharing how God used a story to encourage or strengthen them. It reminds me that God is truly amazing in the way He weaves people, callings, timing, and circumstances together–like stumbling across the right novel at a time in life when it speaks to a need or question.
As a freelance writer, I am thankful for comfortable chairs and free Wi-Fi at Starbucks. I am thankful for my husband, who bought a generator to power my internet and computer so that I didn’t miss any deadlines after the massive October snowstorm here in Connecticut. I am thankful for every deadline. Most of all, I am thankful for being able to do the one thing I’ve always wanted to: write.
I am thankful to be a writer because it allows me to do something I’ve always wanted to do in a way that encourages people in their Christian walk. It is a way for me to share my own journey and put into words what God is doing in my life. It is an offering to the Lord every time I write, my personal expression of worship and love for a Savior that never fails or disappoints. It is my daily sacrifice of praise. And…it’s just a lot of fun!
As a freelance writer, I am absolutely thankful for the freedom to make decisions about when, where and how I work. If I need to drop everything to care for a family member, work extra hours to make a project meet my standards or just tweak my schedule to make things a little easier, I can. There’s no boss that I have to run things past or anyone else to get in my way.
I am thankful to be doing what I love, blogging and freelance travel writing. I’m also thankful for the travel opportunities that come with it. I have finally found what truly makes me happy after many careers.
I’m thankful we have blogging so freelancers like me have opportunities to write to please ourselves occasionally–instead of working to please editors all of the time.
I’m also thankful we have such excellent food and interesting people here in Maine so I can get so much great content without traveling.
I’m thankful for the joy writing gives me on the days when it comes easy and for the discipline to persevere on the days when it comes hard. I’m thankful for my readers, especially the ones who take the trouble to tell me they enjoy my stuff, and for the luck that, so far, has always brought a new offer, acceptance letter, or decent royalty payment just when my depleted bank account and I needed it most.
My family of friends. Not only are they supportive, loving, fun and trustworthy but they inspire me to be my best self and live my best life on a daily basis.
I’m thankful for my undergraduate education at Hollins College (now Hollins University) in Roanoke, Virginia, where I read books that opened my eyes, changed my life and confirmed my desire to be a writer. I’m especially thankful for writer and professor Annie Dillard whose invaluable feedback and encouragement has helped me stick with this craft for nearly three decades. (I published my first article in 1977 when Annie, who had just won the Pulitzer Prize, turned down the pitch and told the magazine to call me!) Finally, I’m thankful for the lifelong friends I made at Hollins, especially Cathy and Amy and the father of my children!
I am most thankful that my life can be one unified whole. My work does not take away from my family – it adds to it. And even better yet, my family helps me in my work. Rather than dividing my heart and mind between so many things, I am able to be fully who I am everywhere and all the time. Being a
writer has given me that in a way I am not sure anything else ever could.
I am thankful for the fact that I have multiple revenue streams–book royalties, article fees, freelance editing fees, ghostwriting fees, business writing fees, and miscellaneous–so that even in these economically troubled times I can manage to make ends meet.
I’m not the best writer in the world, but I’m still thankful to be one. When readers write to me and share how my words have touched and blessed them, that’s hugely rewarding. A travel agent in Texas wrote to say she had been diagnosed with cancer and had a stroke about the same time. She was angry at God and started reading my WW II novel, Gunner’s Run, which had been sitting on her nightstand for weeks. The main character in my story started out angry at God, too, but learned along the way that he really needed God. This lady followed the same spiritual path as she read the book. A teen girl facing several surgeries said something similar. Another time, a teacher in Ohio sent a thick envelope of fan letters from students who had read my books, which was fun!
However, the most rewarding impact from my written words happened in the life of a young lady who had once been in the youth group of my former church. She’d left her husband and was living in sin with another man. I asked the Lord for wisdom and poured out a plea in a letter, begging her to come to her senses and get right with God. She did. Her husband took her back, and she is now a restored member of the church. She quietly thanked me for that letter the next time I saw her. So, even though I’ve been published, you don’t need to be published to use the gift of written words to touch lives.
I’m thankful for an editorial team that loves my work and has given me the opportunity to move from writing short front-of-book items to features. I’ve been a writer for 10+ years and have been freelancing for a regional magazine for the last 6 months.
As a young adult fantasy writer, I’m grateful that I get to tell all those stories–the stories that have always filled my thoughts and shaped my life–with readers! (I’m especially grateful for my readers!)
In Exodus 4:11, the Lord said to Moses, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?”
Although this Bible verse does not explicitly mention “Who gave man his hands?”, we should always keep in mind that our hands are His creation, and that we should use them according to His purpose in our lives.
As a writer, I am called to pen each and every single word that He inspires me or speaks to my heart as a way to touch the souls of millions of people who may need Salvation or the souls of millions of Christians whose faith may be strengthened through my writings. I am very thankful that the Lord uses me and my hands to write to impact many lives.