Things can get pretty discouraging as a writer. And when Thanksgiving rolls, especially for those of you doing NaNoWriMo, it can feel pretty thankless. Lots of hours of writing may not bring about the financial reward we hoped. The deer in the headlight look we get from people when we confess we are writers. We need to reflect on what started us on this journey and all those have encouraged us along the way. Looking over the decades I have been crafting words, some years more dabbling then serious I recall those things that bring a smile to my face and a warm glow in my heart.
- My mother who read to me at an early age and gave me a love for books. Her constant willingness to take me to the library often allowed me to visit wonderful story worlds. Her encouraging words continuing reminder that I could do anything I put my mind too. She recently gave me the scrapbook of articles from long ago that she saved. She is one of my biggest fans.
- My eighth grade English teacher who encouraged me to enter my short story in a contest. I didn’t win but a match was struck. While on the newspaper staff in high school and writing scripts for my drama club and church youth group I found my calling. Even though it would be years before I took it to a deeper level.
- I am always blessed by those willing to perform my scripts. My church family, homeschool groups and women’s retreat participants. They helped me feel my words were blessing others.
- My sisters read the first rough draft of my first novel and their praise warmed me at a time when I was very discouraged.
- My hubby who proofreads for grammar errors, gives honest feedback on my work (some of which is not pleasant to hear.) He listens when I talk about my characters as if they were real people. Offering suggestions and helping me expand my thought processes.
- My critique group, Word Weavers, who points out the best and worse in my words. Without them I would not have grown in my skills.
- My editor, Molly Jo, who believes in my book and helps me shape it.
- My Acquisition Editor, Rowena, who kept telling me to never give up. She kept me coming back with another draft of the first page and always gave gracious feedback.
- The Christian Writer’s Guild’s writing courses where I learned many new skills to hone my writing craft. The one on one mentoring was priceless. The guild directed me to my first writer’s conference which shaped my thinking about the writer I could become.
- My heart overflows with gratitude to God, who blessed me with the gift of and desire for writing.
While you settle in to enjoy your Thanksgiving feast. Take a moment to write a writer’s thankful list. Refer to it when things seem hopeless. When you wonder if you’ll ever get published or when you feel like giving up.
Share in the comments what writerly things you are thankful for.