The theme of my posts this week seems to be the things I am most thankful for as a writer. Perhaps that’s because I have a book coming out soon and am feeling that familiar mix of terror and relief that makes you want to hold all the things you love dear. So, here are the top five–a few of which have gotten their own posts this week. #1. My familyI could not be a writer if it weren’t for the support and love of my family. When I submitted my first fiction short story at age seven to scholastic, and was rejected, my mom told me to keep going. She’d encouraged me to submit it in the first place, saying that she believed I had a special talent. When what you make is for mass consumption, it helps to have someone who tells you that your work is worth it. My husband is the person who most often emotionally supports me now. He assures me that my books deserve to be read and will prove all the work that I put into them, even when I am frustrated about a rewrite, furious with myself for not knowing what to do next, or bummed about a rejection. My spouse has also provided the steady paycheck that enabled me to leave journalism and my salaried job to concentrate on writing (and motherhood) full time. He swears that I’ll enable him to retire early as a result, someday. #2. EditorsI need them. I don’t always love their suggestions, but there is nothing more important than the input of a critical, knowledgeable, honest, and frank person. My editors make me better and they make my books better. #3. The Thriller/ Mystery Writer Community Talking to other fiction writers makes me feel normal, and that’s important. They understand what it is like to live in a fictional headspace for hours, if not days, and then try to make normal conversation. They get how difficult it is to pull yourself away from your writing when you’re in the middle of a good chapter or have a great flow going. They understand the difficulty juggling the real with the imaginary. I feel like I’ve found my tribe. #4. LibrariesPlease see my prior post, included in the related links section, on all the reasons that public libraries are wonderful and necessary. They are VITAL! #5. The InternetI penned a love letter to Google Maps, one of my favorite tools, in an earlier post this week. But I could also write sonnets for dictionary.com, discussion boards, true crime web sites, online psychology studies, writer blogs, etc. I LOVE THE WORLD WIDE WEB! #6. READERS!!!!In a world where information is doled out in 140 characters or with un-contextualized images, readers are becoming rarer and more important than ever before. Not only do I love readers because they allow me to do what I am passionate about, I love them because they care enough to know more, to imagine for themselves, to empathize with strange characters, and to want to delve into others’ thought processes. Readers are intellectually curious and empathetic, and I truly believe that those two attributes will be the most important to the survival of the human race.
What are you most thankful for in your writing life?