Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Ponder... Wednesdays: What Does Being a Writer Mean to You?

I may not have a lot of followers, but at least my name is getting out there enough to finally receive an angry email! *GASP!* I know... However, I rather enjoyed it. It let me know that some of the things I may say (or forget to mention) make somewhat of an impact. It's not my goal to spark arguments, by ANY means, and in fact, I kind of feel the point of this blog is to bring about the opposing affect! I want to know your views on things. This is a free and safe space, friends.
Remember? Bethany = very clean (both by law and personal hygiene) Hippie!

Anyway, to get to today's thought:

We've all seen this...

Or even this...

And, let's face it. They're hilarious (I'll even admit to having the PB one as my desktop background picture!) and sometimes kind of true. It's interesting to me to find the way the world views writers and illustrators of any kind, let alone ones that write or illustrate for kiddos. I could probably fill an entire separate post just on the reaction we get when we explain what we do. But as creatives, that doesn't (SHOULDN'T) matter!

What matters is the way we view what we do. What matters is the characters we create, the lessons we teach, and the fun we share! For me, being a writer means constant adventure. It means peace, and understanding that a child can look at something I have written and relate so much they fall asleep at night with my book in their arms. It means compassion. It means truly getting to know my boys and what makes them tick. It means accomplishing goals, overcoming fear, and discovering something new about myself.

But, to me, being a writer also means never having a vacation. Seriously! Can you take a vacation from your thoughts? Nope! It means being stuck hours on end over one simple sentence- I once sat and revised a WIP for two hours, only to discover that I'd simply changed twelve words around. It means patience... loads and loads of patience. It means rejection, humility, and anxiety.

So please tell me (and be honest!),

What does being a writer mean to YOU?

I cannot wait to hear your answers. I hope this lifts discouraged spirits this week. I find that when others are having a difficult time believing in themselves, all it takes is a simple reminder.

Happy writing, everyone!


  1. Being a writer means there's always a party in my head! And if anyone is down about rejections or angry fan mail (is it fan mail if it's angry?), I recommend Jane Yolen's TAKE JOY. I think I'm the luckiest person in the world sometimes because this is my profession.

    1. LOVE this, Miranda!!! Your attitude here is infectious! Thank you!!

  2. Being a writer to me (and I am still getting used to the label) means the monkeys that jump around in my head now have a place to land...the page. It means, like painting or jewelry making, or sewing, I can write whether someone eventually reads what I write or not for the sheer pleasure of writing. Love your blog and so far, you haven't made me mad!

    1. Ah those monkeys! Yes! They need a place to go, and paper is the greatest home for them! I love that you write just for the pleasure of it. I truly believe that is what it takes to write something remarkable. There's no pressure that way!

      Thank you, Sharon!!

  3. Being a writer is my way of making my small mark in the world, even if only my family is aware. It is a way of sharing my inner self, inner stories, with those on the outside. Being a writer means making time for my now self to correct memories of my then self and create a hopefully more interesting tomorrow self.

    1. Perfectly said, Louise. I love that last part enough to write it down, frame it, and put it up for inspiration!

      Beautiful words, and I am thrilled that you shared them here! Thank you!

  4. It's so true that writers never get a vacation. And you expressed it so well by saying you can't get a vacation from your thoughts!

    Being a writer to me means living inside of my dream.

  5. Ooo, fun question Bethany.

    Being a writer to me it means:
    Never being bored
    An inventor of worlds,
    To inspire others to read and create,
    A constant flow of ideas,
    Sometimes an explainer of who, what, where, how and why,
    Being the goofyball I am,
    Playing with words,
    Always learning,
    Always editing, but most of all always having fun.

    p.s. Sorry to hear about the angry mail. :( There's no need for that. Hope it didn't bother you too much.

    1. Right on! I like your descriptions... They fit into my ideas as well!

      And no, it didn't bother me. I keep wondering if they actually meant it for *me*. I kind of thought it was humorous. :)

  6. I also don't get to have vacation from my thoughts! Lol.

    Writing is similar to doing algebra. There is a problem to be solved and rules to follow (grammar etc.). But those rules can be experimented with. It can be hard, but also rewarding in the end. I can go through multiple scenarios until I find one that fits and that means a pile of crumbled up paper. I'm studying to be a "writertician."

    I've also given up on the idea that I will ever sleep soundly at night especially when I'm trying to figure out a story.

    Finally, calling myself a writer means I'm willing to show the world that I believe in myself enough to follow my dream.

  7. Ha! I would also like to take a vacation from my writer's head. Today I was making great progress on my manuscript. Everything was going so well, I almost forgot to pick my son up from school. Oops!

  8. Great question Bethany!

    Since being a writer is so new to me, I must say that writing is something that allows me to be as creative and bossy as I want. :) I love that I can invent things and and create worlds that are how I would imagine them to be. I also love that my children get to see both of their parents as creative individuals . I hope this leads them to life long love for creative expression. I feel so lucky to have stumbled upon this path!