Gay Yellen: A Writer’s Thanksgiving

The twining path…

Like a double helix, a writer’s journey can follow a twisty trail. One strand—the rational, professional one—involves studying the works of others, honing your own craft, unlocking a door to publishing, and eventually (hopefully) connecting with readers.

The second strand can be an emotional mind-trip filled with unsettling questions. Is my work good enough? Why is that writer so successful? How can I be successful, too?

This emotional trip is the tricky one. It’s easy to find lists of writers deemed better or more successful by certain measures. What should matter to a writer is how they respond to such information. With admiration… or envy? 

Author-envy can eat a writer alive and stifle creativity. On the other hand, clear-eyed respect for another’s success may lead to the discovery of what it takes to improve. Heartfelt admiration—and gratitude—can move us closer to our own dreams.

What makes writers so special?

When I became a full-time author, I was overjoyed to find the camaraderie and the willingness to help one another that thrives in abundance in the writing community. It feels like family here.

Successful writers form personal bonds, share professional tips, read and critique each other’s books, and genuinely root for one another. The Stiletto Gang is an example.

Here, authors come together to trade insights, bits of book news, and offer glimpses into our personal lives, as well as our professional wins and woes. And we introduce our own followers to the rest of authors in the Gang. Countless other bloggers do the same in other spaces.

It’s hard to find a profession that embodies such an open and welcoming ethos. Can you name another enterprise whose members so willingly share their secret sauce with the competition?

I deeply appreciate my writing community, from the veterans who teach to the newbies who are eager to learn. I’m grateful to the people who manage our writers’ groups and who continue to support their members.

This year, when Thanksgiving celebrations may not be like those we know, there’s all the more reason to appreciate the things that continue to sustain us. So, here’s a huge thank-you to writers everywhere who generously share their knowledge and platforms and public spaces with colleagues.
And special thanks to readers…

Dear readers, please know that you are the most important part of our community. Thank you for reading our books, for leaving your reviews on our book sales sites, and for recommending them to your friends. We could not keep our writing spirits up without you. You brighten our lives.

What about you? What are you thankful for this year?

Gay Yellen was a magazine and book editor before she began the award-winning Samantha Newman Mystery Series, which includes The Body Business and The Body Next Door. Book #3 in the series is slated for release in 2021.

Gay would love to hear from you, here, on Facebook, or at her website,

2 replies
  1. Kathryn Lane
    Kathryn Lane says:

    Gay, I love this post! And it speaks eloquently of the great writing community we are part of – as you say, the family of writers. I'm also thankful for being part of this welcoming group!

  2. Gay Yellen
    Gay Yellen says:

    Kathryn, I'm glad you liked it. You're one of the people who inspired the topic. Thanks you for your generosity and friendship.

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