Happy Thanksgiving, Americans!! (And everyone else too, of course!!)
Go eat all the food, and maybe write some, just a little bit. Mostly, eat the food.
If you're new to this space, you should know this about me: I feel incredibly fortunate to be a writer, and to live a story-filled life.
It wasn't always this way. Actually, for the first seven-ish years of being a full-time apprentice-level writer, I kinda hated it.
I mean, I loved words (mostly), and I loved reading (when I could get around to it). But I was in a sheer, flat-out panic about how little I knew about writing, and how desperately I needed this whole novelist venture to work out.
And I got really bitter. And really sad. And super anxious.
About a year and a half ago, that all changed. Through some pretty major circumstances (waaaaaaay too much to go into in this blog post!), my way of thinking was taken all apart, and put back together again.
It was painful. But it was extremely clarifying. And ultimately, it's one of the best things that's ever happened to me.
And I realized: when I drop my expectations, my perfectionism, my decision of when and how my writing life should progress--when I drop all of that, and when I instead just focus on this incredible challenge of learning to tell stories:
I love it. I mean, I freaking LOVE it.
This world of characters and setting, of conflict and plot twists, story structure and pacing... Everything that I have learned, and everything (everything!!) I have yet to learn: I'm overwhelmed at how rewarding it is.
I think it's perfect that American Thanksgiving happens in the midst of Nanowrimo. Yeah, it ups the chaos factor a bit, but I think every draft should have a moment where we pause all the frantic activity and just get grateful.
Stories are precious things, my friends. A perfectly turned sentence? A thing of beauty.
Even a ramshackle sentence, a messy paragraph, a totally botched dialogue exchange: all things that can be learned from, that can be rewritten, that can be turned into gold.
(Which is, itself, a totally incredible process, and has delights all its own. There are good reasons why I was almost an editor!)
... Yes, I do hear myself. I promise I'm not just trying to be a sappy, ridiculous, idealistic little writer-girl.
Dude. I know it's hard. Writing can be really, really stinking hard.
But it can also--when we loosen our grip, when we lighten up, when we allow ourselves to be learners, when we focus on curiosity, when we treat ourselves well--it can also be a wonderfully rewarding life.
And one that I'm definitely grateful to participate in.
And HEY. While I'm being all emotional, let me just say this:
I am so dang grateful for all of you, my lovely lionhearted readers!! It's been so awesome to get to know you, to hear what you're thinking, what you're writing, to see so many of you on Twitter.
We're not doing this writing thing alone!
And, aw, heck: I just love ya!
There. I said it. And it's true. *hug*
Now go eat some pumpkin pie.