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Thanks to you

Happy Thanksgiving Day in orange and red script with a fall leaf at the bottomThank you for being part of my online community, for reading my books and blog posts and newsletters, for taking my classes, for commenting and writing and spreading the word to your friends.

I’m truly grateful to be able to write and teach, and that’s all due to you.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you a happy day with friends and loved ones. If not, have a nice weekend anyway. 😉

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving graphic

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you have at least one thing to be grateful for today. I am truly thankful to all of you for being part of my writing and reading community. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, have a wonderful day.

Thanks for 6 years of community and sharing

6 years confetti sign

On October 27th, my blog/website turned six! It started out as The Edited Life—which I thought was oh, so clever until I realized there was a radio show and a book or two by the same name—a place for me to establish a presence online even though I wasn’t yet published. Agents and editors back in 2009 were recommending (and still do) that all authors have a web page. So I made one.

Like everyone else who didn’t yet have anything to attract readers, I blogged for other writers (and hoped a few friends would show up). And then about three weeks in, I wrote about the writing program my friend had recommended called Scrivener.

Then I kept writing about it because it was fun, and I’m a nerd about stuff like that.

People started finding my site, I published a few books, taught some classes and workshops, and now I have this awesome community of writers and readers. You’ve gone along for the ride as I’ve shared travel stories, lessons learned, rejections, successes, plans, failures, struggles, and motivations. And best of all, you’ve shared back.

To all of you—whether you’ve been with me since the early days, or just joined me recently—thank you!

Thanks confetti sign

 

Thanks for that

ThanksWordleAccording to several articles I’ve read lately (like this one), gratitude is one of the keys to success. Not just saying thank you when someone passes the pepper, or being glad that you have a loving family and your health (though those are all good), but finding something each day about which you can be grateful.

Even the most wretched life has something good in it. You might need to look hard some days, but it’s there.

One post I read recently—unfortunately, I can’t find it now—took it one step further and suggested that we find ways to be grateful for those things that upset us. What??

For example, how can you be grateful to the man who cuts you off in traffic? And not just “I’m grateful that he didn’t hit me.” What if you thought of it like this? “I’m grateful to him for reminding me what not to do. I sometimes forget to slow down and not be a jerk on the road.”

It takes some practice, but I think when we approach the world in a positive light, our days are more satisfying. Finding a way to be thankful, even for those people or events that don’t feel like they deserve it, puts the power in our hands. It gives us control of our emotional reaction to the person, event, or day.

Of course, don’t forget the power of little acts of gratitude either. In our house, we thank each other for everything. Dinner is usually my job, but my husband and kids thank me every night for making it. And, you know what? It helps. Sometimes I get tired of cooking every night, but when they thank me for it, I feel appreciated.

And then I thank them for washing the dishes. 🙂

My son is responsible for bringing in the trash can and recycling bin on Tuesday after school. It’s a “chore”, something he’s explicitly expected to do. But I still thank him for doing it. After all, he’s helping me out.

I think the reason that success comes easier for those who show (genuine) gratitude is that everyone likes to have their efforts noticed. They want to feel appreciated. And if you’re the one doing the appreciating, they’re more likely to support you in your quest.

So, go get your gratitude on this Thanksgiving and every day.

And THANK YOU to all of my readers, students, friends (online and off), and family for sticking with me on this journey. You make it a joy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Graphic created at wordle.net.

Happy Thanksgiving

Wow, this marks the third Thanksgiving on my blog! Thanks to all of my followers and readers. I'm grateful to have you with me to share the long, bumpy ride to publication.

The things I'm thankful for don't change much (as evidenced by my list from 2009), but always include the health and support of my family, the time to write, and friends to share the journey with.

I’m taking a hiatus this week to spend time with my husband and kids, and work on my NaNoWriMo WIP.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! (And if you don’t celebrate, then just have a great week!) 😉

Feel free to share what you're thankful for, and I'll be back next Tuesday.

Photo credit: THOMAS TURKEY © Kimberly Navarra | Dreamstime.com

Why I love Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is becoming one of my favorite holidays. It’s a good time to be with family without the pressure to produce gifts, and there’s no insane two-month long build up that ends up being anti-climactic the way Christmas often is.

As my friend, Aaron, stated nicely in his own blog, Thanksgiving is an American holiday that anyone can celebrate regardless of race, religion, or social standing.

It’s also a great reminder to focus on the treasures we already have, rather than on those we want.

I’m grateful to the members of my little blog community for sharing your time with me. Thanks for making the long, hard road to publication easier and more fun to travel.

I’ll be back on Sunday. Enjoy your week and have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

(If you were looking for a more comprehensive list of things I’m thankful for, check out last year’s post where I attempted to get creative.)

It takes a village

It may be years before I get to put a dedication page in a published book, but I already have a lot of people to thank. So, I'm writing a message now, to acknowledge those who've helped and supported me so much during my first year of writing.

Thanks to my husband for not laughing when I told him I wanted to write, for supporting me no matter what, and for reading my book despite not being in the target market. 😉 I couldn't write romance without a hero of my own.

I owe my boys for their interest and enthusiasm, and for mostly staying out of my way when I need a quiet space. And for being such great kids. Period. They will make great heroes themselves, someday.

Thanks to my parents for their lifetime of support, encouragement, and adventure. I wouldn't be me without you!

I owe my great friend Michele a huge debt of gratitude for listening to me rattle on about writing in the early months on our long, often cold, walks. She read my first draft with enthusiasm and asked great questions, pointed out plot problems, and made me feel like I didn't completely suck at writing. She's my cheerleader.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Michele's husband for putting up with us, and answering my law enforcement questions. Thanks, Brandon.

My aunt and uncle, Linda and Rick, pitched in with an early read and some valuable feedback, as well as morale support. I'm so lucky to have such great family support.

The Southern Magic chapter members have taught me so much and are always willing to answer questions and provide encouragement. I want to give a special shout out to Laura Hayden, Jennifer Echols, Christy Reece, M.V. Freeman, and Lynn Raye Harris. Thanks, ladies!

One specific member deserves her own line. My critique partner, Christine, has taught me more than any other single person I've met. She gives honest, helpful feedback, shares her knowledge and time selflessly, and pushes me to be my best. She has been awesome!

And, thanks to all of the wonderful, supportive people I've met through RWA and the online community. Writing is a solitary pursuit, but there's no way we can do it alone. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to write a book.

Happily, my village keeps growing.

(No squirrel. He's getting lazy and must sleep. I'll have to scold him about that. ;-))