Monday, November 23, 2020

A Writer's Thanks

Let's address the obvious - Thanksgiving is going to be very different for a lot of people this year. Unfortunately, I am one of them, and I will not be enjoying the usual open-door affair of family, friends, and anyone else who arrives in time for the marathon of food. The world has changed this year and sometimes traditions have to be put on pause, for better or worse.

That being said, this has given me some time for reflection. Thanksgiving is, traditionally, the national eating holiday in this country, but honestly that's not what it is supposed to be about. Rather than eating our body weight in turkey and pie, it should focus on being able to be thankful for whatever it is that has brought us from the last holiday to this one. In that regard, a lot of food is not required to take a moment to think about what we are thankful for, and since this blog is about writing, I thought I would reflect on what that means to me as a writer.

First and foremost, I am thankful for all the weird things in the world that inspire me to write about them. From odd stories on the news to weird dreams to the black squirrel in my front yard who I swear watches my every move, they all provide inspiration for me to put my fingers to the keys and create something original. A writer has a hard life without those moments, so for them I give thanks.

Along that note, I want to give a particular amount of thanks to dreams themselves. Not just the random compilation of thoughts flying through our sleeping minds at night, but also the dreams we have that keep us looking toward tomorrow. A writer's dreams include winning a writing contest, the next published piece, or just that moment of reading a review of their own work and validating the idea that they are a writer. Those dreams are the ones that keep us plugging away at the keyboard, creating piece after piece, hoping that we will hit that magical chord that lights up the hearts and minds of readers and sets off a wave of inspiration throughout our fan base and beyond. Thanks for dreams.

And, of course, none of a writer's goals would be achievable without readers, and there are a few batches of them. First, the beta readers - the foot soldiers of written media. These poor souls read work with the critical eye, providing priceless feedback for writers who need the outside eye. Their job is to be brutally honest and convincingly frank in their responses, which often goes without due appreciation. Then there are editors, showing us the road to clean copy with a map of red ink. They are often underappreciated because of the errors they show us, though they are often our biggest fans. This also goes to all the people with whom we attend workshops, collaborate, and even inspire in our own way. Thanks.

This brings me to my final group. Thanks to readers of this blog, both loyal regulars and periodic consumers of my writing notes. Having an audience indeed inspires me to write even more and continue on my mission to perfect my craft. You are very much appreciated.

(Also to my loyal readers - the next post will be Monday, November 30th, since I will be taking a post-Thanksgiving timeout like everyone else.)

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