November 21, 2017
With the rapid approach of the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday, the chatter in many venues is all about giving thanks. As with other years, this year’s conversations can sometimes be unsettling. People really expect others to be as grateful for the year’s bounty at they are.
That’s unrealistic – even unreasonable in some cases.
Some people have experienced tremendous trauma and/or loss. So it’s more difficult for them to readily think of an answer that will appease others – or at least not dampen other people’s enthusiasm.
Does that make them ungrateful? Of course not, it just means they’re still in a raw phase of grief or recovery.
In other cases, people are seeking a natural answer to the question “what are you thankful for?” while some of us want to hone in on spiritual things. For example, each new project I undertake brings the realization that I need God’s guidance and help. He has never failed to provide both, for which I’m thankful.
Food for Thought
There are other writerly things for which I give thanks. Here are some which may resonate with you.
- The publishing industry. For all its flaws, the industry is still vital to writers. As are all of the people who work in various capacities throughout it. That’s true whether we pursue traditional or self-publishing opportunities, or both. As a writer – and reader – I’m thankful for the industry.
- Readers. Readers are essential to publishing. It’s exciting to know that people will read and benefit from my work. I’m thankful for readers, including you.
- A desire to write. It is tough to write when we are uninterested in doing so. I’m thankful for the desire to write.
- My writing ability. Writing is hard at times. It often amazes me that I can string words together to effectively write for general and Christian markets, and for kids and adults. I’m thankful I can write.
- Past adversities. I’ve survived some serious adversities, and their impact on my writing. I’m thankful they are behind me.
- A living dream. I’ve experienced seasons designed to crush my dream, yet it has survived – and thrived! I’m thankful my writing dream lives.
- New contracts. Ten days into 2017 I received an email inviting me to write another nonfiction book for kids. Over time, I received four similar emails. I’m thankful for new contracts!
- Relevant training. I welcome the opportunity to grow as a writer. Training inspires and informs my work. This year I attended three conferences – one for children’s writers, one for writing for the secular/general market, and one for Christian writers. I’m thankful for relevant training.
- New writers. It’s awesome watching people of all ages act on a desire to write. I love helping them pursue their passion, purpose, and works-in-progress. They inspire me to be fruitful. I’m thankful for new writers.
- My published works. When I doubt my ability, I peruse my previously published articles or books for inspiration. They prove I can succeed as a writer. I’m thankful for my published works.
- Past mistakes. Writing for publication entails lots of small details. I’ve made mistakes executing some of those. I’ve also made mistakes in promoting myself and/or my work. But I’ve learned from the mistakes, developing into a better writer. That’s why I’m thankful for past mistakes.
- Reading material. I’ve read magazines, newsletters, blogs, a couple ebooks, 60+ books, and other printed material this year. Some I’ve read for research purposes, others as part of my role as a contest judge, and others for pure pleasure. I’m thankful for great reading material.
- Published writers. Thanks to other writers, that reading material is available. I applaud their ability, faithfulness, persistence, and consistency. Indeed, I’m thankful for published writers.
Clearly, there are some obvious things missing from the above list. Like family. Like friends. Like income generated from writing. I deliberately left out those because they can be thorny issues for some writers. But know I’m thankful for all three: my family, friends, and writing-related income.
What other things did I neglect to mention? Lots!
Indeed, once you begin a list like this you may realize there are things to be thankful for, even in the midst of trouble, trauma, or sorrow. That includes something I didn’t mention: our awesome ability to make sense out of life – for ourselves or others – by writing.
Lisa A. Crayton is an award-winning freelance writer, multi-published author, conference speaker…and more. She loves helping writers, and challenging them to achieve their goals and dreams! Connect with her on Facebook.