This is a re-post from a guest blog I did last week at Linda’s Words From the Heart Blog. It would have been more appropriate yesterday but, hey, I was enjoying Turkey Day 😉
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This is the time of year where everyone begins to consider the question: What are you thankful for?
In my house, now that we’ve started having kids, we try to make it a daily question. Every night we ask our son: What are you thankful for? His answers are quite simple and surprising – even something like his blanket will rate on the list. We’re happy that, so far, both Mommy and Daddy rate every night, too.
Even with that daily focus, however, this time of year brings special attention to the question and the answers get more complicated every year. We move from thankfulness for a toy or a special treat as a child, to thankfulness for a nice car and spending money as a teenager, to thankfulness for our jobs, our relationships, our health, and our kids as we grow into and through adulthood.
This year was a giant leap for me. I can, for the first time, tack Author onto my list of life titles and that opens up a whole new area of gratitude. Some of the new additions to my list:
- I am thankful for a husband who supports and encourages what I do and believes in what I want to do with my life.
- I am thankful that I am an author at a time when self-publishing has been transformed by the e-reading revolution.
- I am thankful for social media that allows me to connect so easily to those in my neighborhood or across the world.
- I am thankful for the authors who came before me and opened these paths.
- I am thankful for the successful and talented writers who share their knowledge and encouragement.
- I am thankful for other authors at the beginning of their paths, just like me, who know what it’s like to walk in my shoes and who give of themselves in support of all of us.
- I am thankful for book reviewers who take the time not only to read my work, but actually review it and post their thoughts on blogs, purchase sites, or reader sites like Goodreads.
Lastly, and in many ways most importantly, I am thankful for every person who has read what I’ve wrote. It doesn’t matter if you’re one of the 30,000+ who have read my free short story or the smaller number who have purchased my book; I am thankful for YOU.
Most of the latest additions to the list apply to being an author and what makes the non-writing aspect of this job easier and more enjoyable. Readers, however, are the complement to writers and are much closer to my heart. I write very character-driven stuff and if I’m connecting with readers – making them smile, laugh, think, feel – then I’ve done what I set out to do.
As a writer, it can be tempting to hoard your work and never let others into that realm. It’s easier, it’s less stressful…but it’s also less fulfilling. As an author, it’s an incredible boon to have someone read what you wrote. Add to that the knowledge he/she enjoyed it and the author has been given a wonderful gift.
Writers are normal people. We struggle, we stress, and we even moan and groan (a bit). Readers have an unique power to reward writers and not just with the purchase of a book. We live in a time where readers can find any writer and connect. Reviews are welcome, but so are quick messages or emails explaining what the story meant to you, the reader.
I am thankful for those who read and enjoy in silence, those who take the time to tell a friend, those who take the time to tell the world, advocate for a writer with a review or other public means, and those who find me and say, “Thank you.”
Sometimes, I may simply say, “Thank you,” in return. It’s true gratitude, not platitude, every single time. I’m not being lazy or rude I’m simply incapable of quantifying all that I mean in a simple reply. The appreciation sometimes seems too big to fit in words, alone. Readers are appreciated and I am thankful for every single one.
Keep doing what you do best – reading – and if you have a spare moment, let the author (any author) know what you think about the work.