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Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Writer...Plain and Simple

This past weekend my family surprised me with flowers and a cake. There wasn't any iced inscription on it that said, "Happy Birthday," or some other celebratory salutation most would expect on a cake. Instead, as my grandchildren held it in front of me with a lone candle, was the word, "Writer,"... plain and simple in blue icing. 

My heart swelled. Joyous tears filled my eyes. So often we writers feel others, even those closest to us, aren't aware how long and hard we toil at our craft. Sometimes we assume they don't know the behind the scenes work ethics we have, the sweat and tears we pour into our work, the disappointments we have faced, and the tenacity it takes to write one poem, article, story, novel, podcast, screenplay, etc. And sometimes because others don't acknowledge our efforts with bells and whistles, we wrongly assume they aren't as excited about what we accomplished, or simply think that being a writer is no big deal. But this past weekend my family showed me that it was, a big deal. They applauded me for this arduous writing journey I have been on for so many years, one that is still in progress. 

My husband acknowledged my beginning journey, when I typed, one peck at a time on the Royal manual typewriter he gifted me with when he saw how serious I was about writing, and how I used to type through the wee hours of the morning sure that I would never give up on my dream but unsure of whom would want to read my words. My adult children acknowledged my middle writing days when they saw me writing after getting home from work, after dinner, after checking homework, after they snuck out of their rooms at night to get another glass of water, and seeing me at my desk/office in our Livingroom writing. And my grandchildren acknowledged that from the time they were old enough to remember, I was always putting pen to paper or sitting at my computer writing in between loving on them.

Writer...this is our profession, so full of passion, love and pain, letdown and excitement, and everything in between. But it is something we can never stop doing, even if we tried. 

Writer...sometimes it comes with a cost. Sometimes we give more to our writing than our family, and hope and pray they don't suffer because we chose one over the other if only for a little while. 

Oh how thankful I am to have people in my life that have never pointed a finger at me and made me feel guilty for my love affair with writing even when I was feeling guilty myself. How thankful I am to have loved ones who understand the big picture, who were/are there from the beginning, the middle, and will be there until the end.

As a writer, I'm sure you have those kind of loved ones and people in your life too. Even if they don't surprise you with a cake, they acknowledge you as a writer in other ways. Maybe your spouse brings you a mug of tea and makes sure no one disturbs you when you're knee deep in a writing project, or an adult child posts updates about your writing life on Facebook or Instagram, or you overhear a younger child bragging to his or her friends that, "My Mom is a writer." Or maybe you are acknowledged through a smile or an encouraging word that gives you a second wind that helps you become more productive. These are the people who see you, who applaud you, who are proud of you even if they don't say it often. Some have been there for your beginning writing journey, some have entered your life in the middle of your writing journey, and most will be there until the end, acknowledging you as "Writer." Plain and simple. 


Jeanine DeHoney is a freelance writer whose writing has been published in several anthologies, magazines and online. 


  1. Jeanine--How wonderful your family is. I've heard people say, "I'm a writer, but I just write..." and they fill it in with poetry/short stories/children's books or anything else they deem not very important. There should be no "just" when we say we write. We're writers. It's that simple.

    Sometime (soon?) your family will be able to celebrate with a cake because you've finished your manuscript. And then they'll celebrate with yet another cake because you signed a publishing contract...

    ...and I can't wait.

  2. Jeanine,
    I got a note from my son's third grade teacher. Mr. Teacher told the children how publishing works. The boy's hand shot up, "Actually..." That was when I KNEW he was paying attention.

    And my husband? He's my first reader. Isn't it wonderful to have their support?

  3. Yes Sioux, there should be no just when we say we write. And thank-you.

  4. It sure feels wonderful to have that kind of support Sue. And when you hear that your son is bragging about you in third grade and you get a "good" note from the teacher, well that's even more wonderful.

  5. Oh my gosh! That cake is just about the sweetest thing I've ever heard. :)

  6. Thanks Margo, and it was so delicious too. I had more slices than I'd like to admit.

  7. Let them eat cake! Let her eat cake! ;)

  8. I sooo enjoyed reading this article! How awesomely beautiful were the expressions of love and support shown by your family! You are leaving a legacy for your generations to walk in your footsteps! How proud they are of you!
    As I read your writings, they are so encouraging and so relatable! It is true that we are not “just” a writer, but “Writer” we are and “Writer” we will always be! Blessings to you and your loving family!

  9. Karen Rushing12:05 AM

    This was such and awesome article. I so enjoyed reading about the love and support your family showed acknowledging you as a “Writer.” True, you’re not “just” a writer but you are a”Writer!!!” Such an awesome legacy to leave your family so that future writer’s in your family can have you as an example! Blessings to you Jeanine DeHoney! The published book is next!!!

  10. Thanks so much Karen. And I hope you too remember to acknowledge you are a writer. It is in your DNA also and you are just as passionate about writing.

    PS. I know you were having difficulty posting so that is why you commented again, but each comment warmed my heart, so thank-you for each comment.

  11. This story made me tear up! I know how wonderful that must have felt to have your family recognize all your dedication and hard work throughout the years. That's one thing most people don't know about writers . . . if we don't have the proper support system in place, there's no one to stop us from giving up. Sounds like you don't have that problem! :-)

  12. Yes Renee. It does your heart good and pushes you to not give up when you have a good support system. I'm sure you have a great one too.

  13. Wow Jeanine, what a beautiful surprise! It actually made me tear up. I'll admit, I haven't felt like much of a writer lately, and the other day my husband asked me if I was still working on my memoir and what it would take to finish it. He hadn't seen me writing lately, but we've had a few major life-changing events. I told him that I needed an hour each morning to write, so first thing in the morning, he gets out of my hair. :) It doesn't matter if I just sit there and stare at my laptop or read an essay or write a few sentences or several pages, I have that time to do it. But most of all, it's my writer friends who support me the most. Thank you for this post! :)

  14. Angela, your husband sounds so supportive, what a blessing. And we all need great writer friends to motivate us, and when you have them, that's the icing on the cake. Writing through life changing events is certainly difficult, but it's also cathartic, so it's great that you blocked out an hour each morning for yourself to reflect, read or write.


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