Posted by: penpatience | May 1, 2016


Gaye Buzzo Dunnmargaretbuzzo(R) Mom

Writers Words:  The first page sells that book; the last page sells your next book. Mickey Spillane, Crime Writer

 “Mabel’s Table, a fiction short story is scheduled for publication, Friday, May 13, 2016 and can be read without cost in Page & Spine Fiction showcase (





As long as most mothers draw breath, they are an unwavering presence and support in the lives of their children. Many don’t hesitate to let their feelings known and offer advice that sometimes falls on deaf ears. However, mothers volunteer it anyway.

If you tell your mother you’re going to pursue a writing career, she may clutch her chest and become speechless for the first time in your memory. Stunned, she’ll fail to communicate the following sage advice:

You can’t give up your day job. You won’t be able to pay the bills as an inexperienced writer. You’d be self-employed. It’s not a nine to five job with a paycheck every week and company benefits. You might have to sell that expensive gold Cross pen I gave you for graduation just to pay the rent. Maybe you should consider becoming a newspaper reporter and work for a nice newspaper here in town….

Writing is like solitary confinement. You won’t be chit-chatting with peers in the employee lounge during lunch break. You won’t have a boss reviewing the quality and quantity of your output every day. Writing is a lonely endeavor. It will isolate you from friends and family if you let it. You must exercise and balance writing with other extroverted pursuits or you may be called a “nerd.”

There’s too much competition.  There are some very successful writers out there and more joining the ranks every day.  Yes, some were initially lucky, but they are the few and far between. It takes a lot of hard work, persistence, talent and time to become a truly successful writer. Many writers like James Patterson, Harper Lee, John Grisham, Ernest Hemingway, and Stephen King became wealthy in their craft, but others have achieved less financial success. I don’t want to see you impoverished. Its okay to starve a bit when you’re young, but you must think ahead to your retirement years.

Writing is not for Wimps and Cry-Babies.  Editors and publishers are critical of authors’ submitted work.  They reject a story or article if it doesn’t meet their specific needs. It’s like that old saying, “different strokes for different folks.”  And God forbid you have spelling, punctuation errors or profuse eroticism and profanity. Forget it. All your hard work will bypass the “slush” and find a direct home in the circular file.

Readers are fickle folks. If they like your story, article or book they may tell a few reader friends how they really enjoyed your work. They may even take the time to write you a nice comment. However, if they don’t like it, they’ll pan it in monthly reader group, post a negative review on social media or tell others your book was “blah.”

However, once a mother’s child makes the commitment to a writing career, she will become the staunchest, most enthusiastic fan.  When you publish your first book, she’ll throw a big bash and introduce you to everyone she knows. “Have you met my wonderful Johnny – the writer?”


To: All the wonderful Mamas: Happy Mothers’ Day!


  1. This is a fine essay, Frances. We live and learn. But God bless our mothers, in spite of all!


    • Yes, I was blessed with my Mom and with two great daughters. Yes, “in spite of all” what a journey. I always enjoy hearing from you.


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