Nathalie's Notes

Raising the Hardy Boys

Writing is so, so not for the pay. Which is not say there isn't a pay off, and a lot of rich rewards but man … I was thinking today about how hard I work on my column and how much I put into it for $25. Obviously, I'm not in it for the money but I am constantly working toward my goal of making a living as a writer. I have faith it'll happen, not because the paper will get a windfall and start paying more but because I believe successful writing careers don't happen overnight but rather are a culmination of lots of things done steadily over the years.

I heard a writer speak along those lines last weekend. Laura Whitcomb lead her workshop by sharing that she was an overnight success, two decades in the making. So you really, really have to love it to be able to keep at it. Luckily, I do.

I don't think I've mentioned yet, because I have no idea how to do it without being all braggy, but I won a couple awards this year for my "Baby on Board" column. I'm proud of it because it is something concrete I can point to to say I've been working, and that my work is good, even when it doesn't always feel that way. Also, I'm just the kinda girl who digs getting awards. In fact, I still have my "Sweetest Smile" award posted in my office from grade school.

– National Newspaper Association – 2nd Place, Best Humorous Column, Non-daily Division, circulation 8,000- 11,999. The judges notes said: "Cute, all too true – signs of motherhood. Well written."

– Oregon Newspaper Publisher Association - 3rd Place, Best Local Column

And to keep me humble, I just found out the status on my literary magazine entry was changed from "received" to "declined."

I'm off to watch "Glee."


8 thoughts on “For the love of writing

  1. Anyone who says they don’t like awards….lies. Brag when you can, there will always be something or someone to put you in your place. Nice work writer friend. u.p.


  2. emily says:

    Way to go on the award…
    A few excerpts from Your First Novel by Ann Rittenberg and Laura Whitcomb. The following come from the foreward which was written by Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River.
    “The answer to “How do I get published?” is simple-not easy, but simple: Learn how to write well.”
    “There are hundreds of easier ways to make money. Thousands of better methods by which to self-actualize. Millions of less taxing ways to entertain oneself. You should write because some stray scrap of your soul is trying to manifest itself verbally. You should write because story is your preferred method by which to make order out of the chaos we call existence. You should write because even though the process terrifies you, the absence of that process terrifies you more. Which is to say, you have to love it…There is no guarantee it will love you back.”
    Nathalie, that award was writing lovin’ you right on back 🙂
    So I could pretty much quote the entire foreward…truly it is that good.


  3. AmyC says:

    Nice work Nat! It’s so awesome you’ve received these awards. It’s one thing to get an award from an “employer” but not a lot of “independent” employees can put awards on their resume. You are right to be proud of yourself, it’s not bragging.


  4. Derek Young says:

    Do any of those awards compare to SPJ High School Newspaper honors? I think not. 😉


  5. Derek Young says:

    PS I really hate that Glee show. Caught the end of the first one and I’m kinda hooked. Now wondering if I’m still straight.


  6. mel says:

    Yay! That is so wonderful!!It is wonderful to be noticed! Keep up the terrific work!


  7. Nathalie,
    I love that you told us about your awards. Congratulations! I bet those acknowledgments give you a shot in the arm when there are those inevitable days of “why am I doing this again?”
    You write so beautifully about doing what you love.


  8. Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!


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