Saturday, December 28, 2013

Pinch Me

Pinch me, I'm a writer.

Don't pinch me because I'm a writer, pinch me because I want to know that this dream is real. For as long as I can remember, I have loved books. Story-telling is in my blood, my western heritage and was encouraged by teachers and mentors who led me down the path of writing stories.

Because of writing, I got through school despite being a poor student. Despite being a poor student, I eventually mustered enough courage to write an entrance essay and was accepted into a liberal arts college where I learned how to be a better student. That led to a BA in Writing which led to a career that used my writing skills in many different ways.

Store clerk, logging laborer, park ranger aid, waitress, road construction flagger, newspaper journalist, stay-at-home mom, Daisy troop leader, freelance writer, newspaper editor, advertising sales manager, insurance agent,  office administrator, marketing communications manager,  magazine columnist, web content writer, publications editor. And now--just a writer.

Just a writer with a dream I've harbored since penning those first stories--to write books, novels of beauty and hope. Writing career coach, Christina Katz, reminds us, "There are no writing career short cuts but there are plenty of opportunities available for those willing to work hard."

Silly to say that wielding a pen is hard work, but crafting a writing career is. Writing is a business and the same factors of professionalism, promotion and strategy apply. Yet it is also an apprenticeship and the writer must practice while doing business--not an easy balance. The overnight success of big name novelists did not happen in a night or even in a decade. They once apprenticed, made mistakes and wrote crap, too. But they learned and persevered and so will I.

Earning a living as a writer is not for the faint of heart. Three miles down the road, Samuels Corners is serving prime rib tonight. I'm fairly drooling at the thought of it, but I don't earn enough money as a writer--yet--to have prime rib when the craving strikes. But I earn enough to keep on writing. So I do, wiping drool from my chin.

And sometimes, along the way there come pinch-me-moments. Instead of worrying about the next word or dollar, a piece of the dream breaks through the clouds of doubt. Today is one of those days and affirmation came in threes--my favorite number.
  1. My NaNoWriMo "Winners" tee-shirt arrived in the mail along with two new garden seed catalogs. Woohoo! 
  2. A reviewer for the publication that I edit and write for sent me the following words of encouragement: "Just glanced at the newest issue and I LOVE it. Charli I don't know how you keep the newsletter growing and advancing - you must be constantly looking for new ideas." ~ P.L.
  3.  The very first contest I decided to enter accepted my submission for publication: "We reviewed your submission “Charli Mills, Country and Western Singer” and think it would be a good fit for a contest. We will schedule your story, as shown below, for a January contest using your name Charli Mills. A few days before the contest, you will receive an email from us of the contest preview video and another email on the Monday your story is published." ~D.B.
Each little step is one more closer to the dream! And I am so grateful for you--I cannot be a writer without readers!


  1. Love this! You hare written so many things that are validating to me... helpful to me.. motivational for me. No prime rib here either, but I've begun the journey too. Step by step!

  2. Moments (3) to be proud of for sure -- you are a writer whose words 'speak' to me and I applaud your every success in your writing career. I predict many more accomplishments will follow...

  3. Hurray on all three recognitions of your writing. Well deserved.