Being thankful for the writing journey

As writers, it’s easy to fall into many traps. No, I don’t mean plot holes. I mean the human traps.

Comparison. Fear of rejection. Worry. Unrealistic expectations.

As we celebrate this season of thankfulness with food, shopping, and gift giving, let us also be thankful for this journey. Whether you’ve written three words this year or 300,000, be thankful for where you are.

Be thankful for what writing those words has taught you. Be thankful for the writing time lost because you were spending quality time with family or friends. Be thankful for the ideas you have on the back burner because you’ve been pursuing other passions or career goals.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie

The truth is, yesterday, we were not sitting across from our perfect manuscript and enjoying a four-course Thanksgiving dinner. We were (I hope) spending it with loved ones.

Yes, our stories are important. They are pieces of us that push themselves out into the world through ink. But…

Each story is only a piece of us, not the entire story of our lives.

I urge you not to risk a full life for a piece of it. Yes, being a published author is still a dream of mine, but if my work would be published tomorrow and I didn’t have a community to share it with, it would be meaningless. No, it’s not easy to juggle family, friends, work, writing, and other hobbies, but it fills my life to the brim.

So, today, I have two challenges for you:

  1. Enjoy your holiday plans, whatever they may be. Don’t feel guilty for not writing when you’re spending time with loved ones. Be thankful for where you’re at in your writing journey and be thankful for those you are spending the holiday with. Your stories can wait a day, but family and friends can’t wait. Life is too short to make them wait.
  2. Whenever life returns to normal after your Thanksgiving plans, make time for your story. If that means now, then go! Write! If that means next week sometime, mark it on your calendar and carve out time to write. If you’ve written three words this year, write three more. If you’ve written multiple books, stories, and/or poems, take the nap that you seriously deserve and then keep writing.

We have all known the long loneliness, and we have found that the answer is community. ~Dorothy Day

 

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