There are kind of a lot of things authors complain about. That’s understandable. Writing is hard. Editing is hard. Publishing is hard. Promotion is hard. Plots get tangled like those Christmas lights some of you have already gotten out. You get mediocre reviews, or bad reviews, or no reviews. You upload a cover and it ends up all shifted over to the bottom right and there’s an unexplained clipart anteater getting in the way of the title.
Writing is an overwhelming psychologically and emotionally demanding occupation. It’s easy to forget to stop freaking out over the latest plot-hole or formatting disaster and be thankful for how far you’ve come, sometimes.
If you write at all, you have something to thank God for. He gave you a passion, a talent, a mode of creative self-expression. It doesn’t matter if you’re amazing at it or get any recognition for it—you have a beautiful thing. You can paint pictures with words. That’s an art and a gift. Enjoy it, nourish it, and thank God for sharing part of his creative power with you. That’s no small thing.
I don’t introduce myself as an author. But people who interact with me enough times typically find out, eventually, that I’ve written and published several books. And they’re always excited to hear it. Unfortunately, being a bit of a Negative Nina, by the time they start asking me about it I’m already sort of shaking my head. Well, I’m really stuck right now. That new book was supposed to come out months ago. No, I just self-publish. Yeah, I’m pretty frustrated with the whole thing right now.
“Wait, you write books?”
Yeah. I write books. And that’s awesome. But I take it for granted. That’s kind of how things are. The amazing things in your life tend to get buried under all the piles of tedious, mundane, frustrating details. It’s easy to forget you’re triumphs and blessings and move right on to stressing over the next hurdle. If you write books, that’s not a little thing. That’s something that people put on their bucket-list and many never get the chance to do.
So, this Thanksgiving, stop and make yourself a list. An authorly gratitude list. Think about all the things you learned, the drafts that became whole new creatures through editing, the covers that turned out so satisfyingly evocative, the people who read your story and loved it. If you’ve been writing for any amount of time, you’ve probably hit some rough places. But God was faithful, and you lived. You grew. Great things happened.
Stopping to give thanks for the little things you have will quickly make you realize just how many and how big they actually are. Thankfulness in all areas of your life will reset your thinking and prepare you to take a leap of faith.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.