Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Writer’s Guide to Thanksgiving

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

For some people, Thanksgiving is about the food. For others, the holiday 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, 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.

Comments like:
  • Let me introduce you to our family writer. He/she hasn’t sold anything, but writing is a nice hobby.
  • How many hours do you spend on your computer?
  • Aren’t you neglecting your family with that pipe dream?
  • Aren’t there meds for OCD people like you?
  • Making any money yet?
  • I heard a writer has to be on drugs or drunk to sell stuff that sells. Which are you?
I could go on about our loving family and friends who really do mean well, but they often take a vicious stab at our hearts at a time when we should be concentrating on Thanksgiving. Instead of sinking our hurt feelings into another generous piece of pumpkin pie, why not memorize a list of all the writer blessings received during the year?  
  • Creativity! We have the artist 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 and write it.
  • Joy! Writers love what they do. We can’t wait to hit the computer keys. How sad to spend hours on a craft we don’t enjoy.
  • Imagination! The unique personalities sitting around the table allow our characters to have those special quirks. Don’t be a turkey and explain to critical people where we find our impressive characters.
  • Fruitfulness! When everyone is watching football or napping after Thanksgiving,  dinner, we plot our next story.
  • Preparation! This is my favorite. A writer who prepares the Thanksgiving feast can imagine all of her characters are coming to dinner—what they’d like to eat and of course the conversation.
  • Black Friday! While everyone else hits the 5:00 a.m. shopping malls and fighting crowds, writers waken early to sip on coffee and in the quiet hours, their stories come alive.
As the year comes 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 so we can be a blessing to others—even those special family members and friends.


Don’t be a turkey this Thanksgiving. Know the writer’s blessings @diannmills #writers (Click to Tweet)

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She currently has more than sixty books published. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2014 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also a craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. Visit her website at and connect with her on


  1. I loved your point that we can flesh out characters while listing to and watching the characters around the table. I did that very thing last night at our church's Feast of Thanks. Oh, my goodness, what stories! Love you, DiAnn and Edie. Blessed Thanksgiving to you both!

  2. I'm with Vonda! I love that point and boy do I do it. LOL