Writing for a living certainly has its ups and downs. Among the downs would be the unsteady paycheck, lack of corporate benefits, and unkind reviews. The daily ups are getting to choose your projects and setting your own schedule. And every so often, when you get an up, it's a big one. I like to take a souvenir of these whenever possible so that when the downs seem to outweigh the ups, I can remind myself, "Oh, yeah. I got to do that cool thing because I'm a writer."

Some of these mementos include the front of my dad's bass drum from the early 1960s with his band's name on it. (They were The Commodores before The Commodores you've heard of!) I wrote a book series inspired by my dad's days as a drummer. I also have some press passes from events I got to cover for the magazine I work for, an author's pass from a conference I spoke at in Las Vegas, a concert ticket from a show I got to see only because I was in Las Vegas for said writers' conference, and a postcard and note from the Malibu Beach Inn, where I got to stay a couple of times while on assignment. It was a tough job, that one...sitting on my balcony and watching the surfers before I went to work that morning. Not something an Alabama girl gets to do just every day.

I also have a framed artwork of Frost's "The Road Not Taken" that a student of mine gave me many years ago as a gift. It reminds me that this is the path I chose for myself. If it works out or doesn't, it was my choice. It's good to remember that sometimes.

On the adjacent wall, I have letters from readers, a nice note from my editor at Teen Vogue (I still can't believe they not only let me write for them, but then actually thanked me for doing it!), cover comps from the Aleca Zamm books, and a few other things that remind me that my job is, after all, pretty awesome most of the time.

I highly recommend that all writers hang onto these reminders and put them in a place where they're clearly visible. We all need a little encouragement from time to time.

Ginger Rue is the author of the Aleca Zamm series from Aladdin and the Tig Ripley series from Sleeping Bear.


  1. Thanks for this affirmation Ginger.I hung up my award and photos of my book covers on the wall in my study. It's a positive reminder that really does make a difference. Thanks for sharing this.


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