“If someone asks where we find our characters . . . tell them, everywhere.”
For some people, Thanksgiving is about the food. For others, Thanksgiving is about spending time with family and friends. Some can’t wait to finish the meal to tune into the football games. Then there are writers. Oh, we love the food, family, football, and friends, but what about the inevitable questions that shake the foundation of our self-confidence? I’m talking about the statements that cause us to wonder who the real turkey is.
1. Let me introduce you to our family writer. He/she hasn’t sold anything, but isn’t writing a nice hobby?
2. How many hours do you spend alone on your writing?
3. Aren’t you neglecting your family with that crazy dream?
4. I thought you had a real job.
5. Aren’t there meds for OCD people like you?
6. Made any money yet?
7. I heard a writer has to be on drugs or drunk to sell stuff that sells. Which are you?
8. I have a friend who is a counselor. Would you like his name and number?
9. Don’t give up your day job.
10. I heard spending time on a computer destroys brain cells.
I could go on about our loving family and friends who truly mean well, but they often take a vicious stab at our hearts at a time when we should be enjoying a wonderful time of the year. Instead of sinking our hurt feelings into another generous slice of pumpkin pie, why not recall all the writer blessings received during the year?
Creativity! We have an artist’s touch of communicating through the written word. We see the world in unexpected beauty and share our adventures.
Opportunity! We have so many ways to share our gift. All a writer has to do is find a need or area of interest and write about it.
Joy! Writers love what they do. We can’t wait to hit the computer keys. How sad to spend hours on a job we don’t enjoy.
Imagination! The unique personalities sitting around the table allow our characters to adopt those special quirks. If someone asks where we find our characters . . . tell them, everywhere.
Fruitfulness! When everyone is watching football, napping, or eating again, we can indulge in our favorite goodie and plot our next story.
Preparation! This is my favorite. A writer who prepares the holiday feasts can imagine her characters are coming to dinner—what they’d like to eat and, of course, the conversation. Don’t forget the spice of suspense.
Shopping! While everyone else hits the shopping malls at 5:00 a.m. Friday, masked and standing socially distanced in long, crowded lines, writers waken early to sip coffee, and in the quiet hours, their stories come alive.
As 2020 draws to a close, we writers can learn from our past victories and challenges, update our bios, dust off our proposals, commit to learning more about our craft, explore new publishing trends, and seek a serious writer to mentor. Writers enhance the world by being a blessing to others—even those special family members and friends. One day they will want a personalized book.
Writers aren’t turkeys!
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers.
DiAnn is passionate about helping other writers be successful and speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston. DiAnn is very active online and loves to connect with readers on social media and at diannmills.com.