STORY BROADS: Writer Things We’re Thankful For

A writer has a lot to be thankful for as we move into the holiday season. Terri Coduri Viani reflects on things that make the writing life better.


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It’s tough to be a writer. This is known. But there’s also a lot of good in this funny old thing we call the writing life and with the U.S. Thanksgiving upon us, I want to take you on a short stroll through a few things writers can be thankful for.

Screenwriting Software. Formatting is FROM HELL and without writing programs to do the heavy lifting we would spend a good many of our cherished story minutes weeping over recalcitrant, off-by-1/28-of-an-inch margins.

The Mentors. Hands together for the writers, producers, showrunners, execs, and managers who reach (and Tweet!) back to us with war stories, advice, and encouragement, and never let us forget, the most important thing is to do the work. Thank you.

Our Pet Companions. Cats acting as illicit keyboard warmers and wet-nosed dogs prodding us up and out the door to get a little exercise. They are our secret muses stretched out in office windows and snoozing under desks.

Other Writers. Our sounding boards, our shoulders to cry on, and the people who laugh as hard as we do at all those esoteric “You know you’re a writer when…” memes. Other writers just get it. All of it. Group hug!

Honest Notes. Without candid feedback we might very well mire forever in the quicksand of our cranky little writer egos and believe every word we lay to paper is prompted by the Gods. Hint: Nope.

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Family and Friends. With a hat tip to Stephen King, being a writer is a lonely business, and having people who believe in us makes all the difference. They don’t have to do or say anything, just be there, and maybe leave peanut butter cookies outside our office doors once in a while. Try not to make a lot of noise as you tiptoe away.

The Human Catastrophe. If people behaved themselves writers would have precious little to write about.

The Human Catastrophe – and Our Place In It. The weighty sadness of our own experience turns dark hours and private scars into heartfelt human stories.

The Things We Carry. Notebooks. Pens. Snippets of overheard conversation. Those aforementioned scars. Foundational tools of storytelling tucked away in brains and backpacks waiting for their call to duty.

Coffee Shops. Seven solitary writers typing away at separate tables provides the illusion of a social life, and where do you think we get those snippets of overheard conversation tucked away in our brains? At the coffee shop.

The Writing Itself. Glorious, exhausting, thrilling, maddening, heart-breaking, and utterly, utterly wonderful. Without it we would be mere mortals. With it, we are the Creators of Worlds.

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