Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ten Things I'm Thankful for in My Writing Career - a Retrospective

Seems like the topics lately have been lending themselves to lists. Either that or I'm in a list-y place right now.
This week, appropriately enough, given that it's Thanksgiving in the US, we're giving thanks particularly about our writing careers. This should be a pretty easy list to make, though determining the scope is less straightforward. I'm realizing just now that it's been twenty-one years since I attended the Society for Neuroscience Convention in New Orleans, melted down and faced the fact that I didn't really want to be a neuroscientist. Which was inconvenient, since I was three years into a PhD program at that point. That's also the year (coincidence?) that David and I started dating--a brief fling that's still going strong. I didn't know at the time what a pivotal year that would be for me.

Maybe we never know these things at the time.

So, without further ado, I'd like to give thanks that:

1) the universe gave me such an interesting answer when I asked what would be the perfect career for me.

2) I was surrounded by the warm and wonderful writing community at the University of Wyoming, who welcomed me in and offered me the tools I needed to grow into being a writer.

3) David supported me from the very beginning and even remodeled the old coal bin for me, so I could have a place to write.

4) I found a series of jobs and appreciative bosses who let me fiddle with my work schedules.

5) there are so many opportunities to send my writing into the world, from tiny university literary journals to magazines to anthologies to book publishers, digital and traditional, great and small - all staffed by extraordinary, dedicated people who love a good story.

6) there are also so many fine organizations to support writers - like the Wyoming Arts Council, the Ucross Foundation, Romance Writers of America. They were there for me when I got started

7) there is the fabulous, interconnected, multi-faceted beast the internet community has become. ~presses nose to screen~ All my friends are in there!

8) so many readers are so generous with their love of books. All those book bloggers who spend the equivalent of part-time, or even full-time, jobs writing reviews and talking up their favorite authors. All the people who take the time to post ranks on Goodreads and stars on Amazon, who tweet, email and Facebook message just to say that they loved a book.

9) that I live such a blessed life, that I get to spend my time doing this. That I am not living in a war zone, am not poverty-stricken, that I have the civil rights to write whatever I please, that I don't have to worry about my basic survival.

10) the universe gives us stories to tell in the first place.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


  1. That's a wonderful list. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  2. Great list. And I couldn't agree more with #7!
    Have a great Thanksgiving.

  3. "The Universe", eh? Are we just being non-controversial? I could see how that might be important when one has a fan base. I wonder how the rest of the week will go.