To Be a Writer

I never set out to be a writer, let alone a person who earns their income through the internet.

Well, technically, if you had asked 8 year old Gretchen if she wanted to be a writer, she would have said yes. That was the year my best friend and I co-authored a novel all about Princess Zara. But later on, when I was actually thinking through career options, “writer” never came to mind.

But then …

Oh, but then. Then I fell into blogging. The kind of writing I could have only imagined as a 3rd grader who spent her recess time dreaming up Princess Zara’s next adventure.


Knowing what I know now I would have started blogging in a much different way. Honestly, sometimes I think that I’d like to close up That Mama Gretchen and start fresh elsewhere. Do it right from the very beginning. But so much has happened here. I’ve grown up here. I’ve become a mother here. Truly, this space was born when I was expecting my Jemma and it’s too much of me, of us, to abandon it.

As much as I’d like this space to be “perfect” I’ve found a restless sort of contentment in making little  adjustments as I go. I know, total oxymoron – restless contentment. But that’s exactly what it feels like. I’m happy here, because it feels like home, but, just the same my wheels are constantly turning. There is always a topic to research, an idea to flesh out and write, html to learn, and partnerships to forge. It’s never ending. And I suppose that’s the good and the bad of it.

I have always been hesitant to call myself an entrepreneur, really, in the last few months I’ve just become confident in saying that I’m self-employed, a real writer, but I think I’m coming around to the term. Entrepreneur. That’s me! I mean, after all, I turned nothing – literally, a blank webpage just waiting for words – into something – a blog that earns income for my family! – and that’s what entrepreneurs do, right? They dream, make mistakes, and press on, learning as they go.

The family behind Wente Vineyards is another example of entrepreneurship. Of course, they’re much bigger and more established than me (like 100+ years more established!), but success is often similar at the foundation, no matter the scale. Success is dreaming. Success is growing. Success is loving what you do.

C. H. Wente took the first steps toward his dream in the late 1800’s when he immigrated from Germany. He wanted a better life for his family, something that seems to spur on all entrepreneurs. He studied winemaking in Napa Valley and then launched a career in the wine industry.

Jump ahead a number of decades and C. H. Wente’s legacy is living on and quite strong too! Today, his family is proud to be named “California’s First Family of Chardonnay” while making note that their wines are 100% estate grown through sustainable practices. To say that C. H. Wente would be pleased with the journey his company has taken would most definitely be an understatement.

The Wente’s are just one example of entrepreneurship. I’m another. I’m guessing your family has some entrepreneur stories too. So, cheers, mamas! Whatever your dreams are, put feet on them, make them come alive no matter how small. Be prepared to make mistakes and to love the journey. It’s worth it, I promise. The journey is what makes dreams become a reality.

And, of course, if there is any way I can help – don’t hesitate to reach out!




Learn more about the Wente Vineyard and their story here and here.

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