Gratitude for the Writer's Soul

I've been thinking a lot lately about how very blessed I am. While there are definitely things I'd like to change about my life (and am working on doing just that), there are so many things I'm thankful for, and it got me thinking about all the things we have to be grateful for as writers.

Our Readers

The individuals who take precious time out of their day to read our short stories, our blog posts, our books, whether they quietly read and absorb and then set them aside, or take up the role of our champion, trumpeting the merits of our stories from the rooftops. Our readers are one of our greatest inspirations, and the more we show our appreciation, by acknowledging their awesomeness and continuing to create quality work, the better.

Those Who Support Us

Whether you've bonded over Twitter or been friends for life, the people who support us in our writing endeavours are some of our greatest cheerleaders. They see us through the times when we think we can't possibly write another word and panic about how the book we're writing is exactly like that one that just got published. They share in our joy when we finish a rough draft and hear back from our dream agent. They are incredibly powerful and so instrumental to our success: no writer is an island.

Our Collaborators

Maybe it's the guest posts we wrote for each other's blogs, or a free webinar we cohosted, or a novel we co-wrote. Whatever it is, we've worked together to create something and bring it to fruition, something we couldn't have done without the other. Sharing in that experience of creation is mindblowingly cool, and we get to share all the ups and downs (and the really really big downs and the really really REALLY big ups)!

The Books We Read

There are books which we pick up and sink into whenever we need to escape, or a reminder of the atmosphere we'd like to create as writers or what it feels like for characters to leap off the page. No matter the genre, no matter the vintage, there's something special for every reader. Whether you read on a Kindle or from a bound paper book, I think we can agree the world would be a gloomy, dull place without stories that help us soar, make us think, give us peace.

I also have a great deal of gratitude for Nikki Tate, who not only wrote wonderful stories about a horse-besotted girl named Jessa and another series about a young writer named Heather Blake, but showed kindness and thoughtfulness towards this particular young writer a number of years ago, both when I had oodles of questions and sent a short story about a haunted house for her feedback!

Little Moments

Life isn't made entirely of grand events, and thank goodness for that - how exhausting it would be! While there's a place for The Big Stuff, the little moments are the ones that truly enrich our lives, and yet these moments so easily pass us by if we're not paying attention. Writing encourages us to catch their eye, extend a hand, invite them to stay a while, as we write moments like them into our stories, memorializing them for a friend or a reader or a whole generation, or maybe solely for ourselves.

Our Writing

Last but certainly not least is our writing practice itself. Those times when we look at the clock and realize hours have gone by without our noticing because we were so lost in our story, or that first time you hear back from a beta reader that, "YES, you've got it! I love what you did with this!" or that moment when you sit back in your chair and realize, "I'm taking the time to do something I love, it thrills me to pieces, and I get to do this every day, if I want!" ... those are the times that make this worthwhile. Those are the times that make me so very grateful to be a writer.

Most of the time, I think we put in the hours, strive to meet our daily word goal, chat with other writers about the dire straits we're putting our characters through, but we don't often take a moment to appreciate what it is that makes our lives as writers so wonderful. I love the idea of making a habit of it! The world is so fast-paced nowadays, finding these pockets of peace is more important to our well-being than ever, especially because we spend so much time ruminating as writers.

What are you grateful for in your writing life? What makes your heart sing?