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Are You Using Your Writitude for Good… or Not at All?

Happy Thanksgiving, my fellow writers! I hope you find joy in your turkey and stuffing, your days off and your family members.

And if the turkey and stuffing are dry, you find yourself bored, or your family members are annoying, just go find yourself a quiet corner to work on your manuscript for a while.

But while you write, keep this – cheesy but true – Challenge in mind:

Don’t let your writitude go to waste.

You can be grateful all you want for the fact that you’re a writer. But if you don’t ever put your writing tendencies to good use, what’s the point?

That’s like a miser hoarding her fortune instead of spending it on fun stuff like vacations and pizza and Tinker Bell paraphernalia. (Maybe it’s best I’m not a millionaire.)

You’ve got a wealth of opportunity here, either for your own purposes or to give a gift to someone else.

Let’s address the elephant in the room right now to get it out of the way. Yes, I have a problem with wanting to buy Tinker Bell paraphernalia. And yes, I have it under control. Not being a millionaire has forced me to curb my enthusiasm significantly. I can’t remember the last time I even bought anything Tinker Bell… only pined over it.

Thankfully, I have my writing to compensate for my lack of millions. And writing really is something to be thankful for when its uses are so wide and varied.

Here are just a few, starting with personal possibilities:

  • Venting: Are you really annoyed that the turkey and stuffing are dry? I mean, how can stuffing be dry? Who messes up stuffing! If that’s how you’re feeling, then write about it. Your writing gift doesn’t have to always be used for serious, somber or potentially profitable purposes. Nobody else even has to see it but you, particularly if you’re using it as an outlet for your bitter disappointment.

  • Expressing: Maybe you’re not angry about anything. Maybe the stuffing is perfectly moist, your day off is delightful and your family makes for really great company. And maybe you’d like to record how lovely it all was for posterity’s sake. In that case, get it down in a journal entry to look over someday when you feel like smiling or need a reminder that life has its good moments too.

Now for some public-service reasons to write, which I’m framing as motivational (i.e., pushy) questions:

  • Encouraging: Are you writing an inspirational memoir about how you overcame an obstacle and others can too? Or a business book to motivate people into achieving their entrepreneurial goals? In that case, there’s a point where you need to stop thinking about writing it or thinking about publishing it, and just get serious about your mission. If it’s not written, sit down and start writing it. After you’ve had your stuffing, obviously. And if you’ve written it but not published it yet, ask yourself why not. Does it need editorial feedback? Do you need to send out query letters to literary agents? Do you just need to hit the publish button already?

  • Informing: There are so many amazing non-fiction books out there meant to engage and educate us about history, science, philosophy, art or other worthwhile topics. But can you add to that? Are people missing out by not having your perspective?

  • Engaging: Life is too full of drudgery and bad things like, perhaps, unfulfilling stuffing. (Perish the thought!) Could your story ideas that you’ve been working on or thinking about for so long be a lovely little distraction from someone else’s woes? An escape route for 45 minutes, or an hour or two a day?

Whatever your purpose, if you call yourself a writer, then you should be writing – making the most of your writitude. Put your gift to good use already!

After Thanksgiving meal, of course.

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