I've just read something very good by James Scott Bell, over on The Kill Zone. I shouldn't be too amazed that I found this piece rather moving for me, personally. I will share the link with you in a little bit. I wanted to share my own thoughts on being thankful as a writer here.
It's been a long haul for me to finally feel grateful to be a writer. I've often thought of it as a curse because... well, I've had a hard time becoming published, or accepted in the writing world. An agent wouldn't touch me. But, that's okay. If they don't think my writing is worth their while, then too bad. I've got some major issues with top publishers also, but we won't go there. I was supposed to be grateful for being a writer.
So, here I am writing about writing again. I have 3 novels out there, and some things in the wings, and had a short story just recently be accepted and it's now out there along side some other wonderful writers. How could I not be happy? I have many fans out there who love my work. I just wish it were more than a couple dozen.
Being a writer means that I can make up stories and possibly be paid for it. I can sit alone in my room and ponder the next sentence, or even the next words, or the plot of a whole book. I love to create worlds, disastrous situations, lovable characters that readers will--I hope--love and enjoy.
I have earned the right to be slightly neurotic and talk to myself. I might look off into the distance and my husband knows that I'm not ignoring him, but that I'm actually thinking about my book or story. Others who don't know me just think I'm neurotic, crazy, or peculiar... which I am. I'll admit that.
I sometimes loose focus on the importance of being a writer. We are creative people. You don't run into that many people who would cut off all social ties so that they can sit alone in a room and write. I used to hate when a friend would demand I go out with her to the bars. That was boring, but I must admit it was fodder for any bar scenes I might need to write. As a result, I don't have that many friends that want to socialize with me and I avoide the phone as though it had the plague wiped all over it. I HATE talking endlessly on the phone and not knowing how to end a conversation. Thank goodness for email!
People who envy you (yes, there are those who do), and say "Oh, I should do that" (write), but don't. Those are not writers. They are dreamers of doing something "romantic" like writing. But once they receved one rejection, they'd probably quit.
We are not quitters. We write and enjoy it so much even in the face of being rejected a hundred times, we believe--or try to believe--that maybe if I do thus and thus, it will be accepted with the next one.
Of course, now in this self-publishing world, we can do it so easily, but I hope we are wise enough to get at least one critique on it before hand.
What I guess I'm saying is that we are a unique group of people and we do need to consider ourselves lucky to know that our words will find their way into the hands of someone who will enjoy reading them, and give you a nice comment, or give you a glowing review.
I've experienced this with my first book, Spell of the Black Unicorn. It was self-published, and I was so thrilled to hold something that I wrote, and have people buy it and tell me they liked or even "loved" it. I drew the cover, and did all the formatting inside the book. It was the first book I actually got to hold with my words inside it. That made me gosh darn happy and grateful besides.
I now have two novels published since then and all the excitement about this makes me happy, but slightly bitter sweet about the fact that it took so darn long to find my way to this point. But what James Scott Bell said resonated with me. Often what he writes does. And I'm very glad that I got to read it.
If you're feeling blue at this time of year over the state of things, confused over why you're doing what you're doing, go read THIS by James Scott Bell. It might resonate with you too and make you gosh darn proud to be part of the writing community.
Have a Happy Holiday!