It’s Thanksgiving, that day we all give thanks for what we have. As families, we can give thanks for those who can share our meals. As citizens of the Great Republic, we can be thankful that we still have peace and law and order and a working society. That the lights are still on and bullets aren’t plinking off the gutters is something to be so very thankful for.
But as a writer, what can I be thankful for?
Well, for one, I’m thankful for my lunch setup, that our workplace cafe has a patio that looks over a lake, that most of the yuppies prefer to stay inside, and anything short of perfect weather drives in the rest. Usually I have the tables to myself, providing me with a quiet hour to work magic.
In that vein, I’m thankful for technology. I’d hate to have to do all this writing longhand, then transfer it to type. Worse, I’d hate to lug a typewriter around. I love my tinytop, that little PC with the 90% keyboard. It makes life so easy.
I’m thankful, in a way, for Mookie the writer’s cat, even through she finds the worst times to jump up on my lap and lay across my arms (like just before this paragraph). I’m thankful that she’s warm and soft and doesn’t hold a grudge when I tip her out.
I’m not sure I’m thankful for self-publishing. Suddenly, the moribund publishing industry has become a chaotic, noisy place filled with stuff that, perhaps, should never have been published. But it got Early Retyrement into the sunlight as it deserved, and for that, I am thankful.
And in that, I’m thankful that I’ve had the honor of being traditionally published with Fire and Bronze. Sure, it ended in ruin, without a dime coming to me, my rights striped away, all that. But I was able to walk into a bookstore and see my book, there, on the new arrivals rack. When people refer to me as a writer, I know I’ve earned it. And I know what a close shave it was at every step of the process, so being thankful is the least I can be.
I’m thankful for all the writers who turn out novels so pure and perfect that I can only bask in their greatness. Their words I carry with me, to guide me in what storytelling should be.
Second from the top, I am thankful for my muse. She speaks to me. She twists my plots. She’s with me when I don’t know why I’m bothering. She shows up when I’m staring at a blank screen without an idea in my head and sets my fingers to dancing. Without her, I’m only a reader. With her, I’m a writer.
But mainly, I’m thankful for anyone who reads my blogs, my books, my short stories. I’m thankful for those who take the time and keep with my words, even over the slow spots, the tedious places, and the occasional typos. To anyone who comes up to me with a smile and a back-pat, I am thankful.
Writers should be thankful they are writers, every day.