November 19th, 2014

Writerly Gratitude: What’s On Your List?

I married a grump. Don’t get me wrong, Alpha Dog is my hero and my best friend, but he can be a bit – negative. Sometimes when I realize I’ve been listening to an hour long gripe-fest, I’ll put my hand up and tell him he can’t say anything else, until he says something nice.

Sometimes it takes him a while.

Well, I’m outing myself here. In my writing life, I’ve been the same. This is the perfect time of year to remind myself to appreciate my blessings.

Grumpy cat

Hey, it’s easy to fall into the negativity – one of my publishers was just sold, the other just ended a 9 month fight with the largest online book retailer. Every author is fighting for reader’s attention, and if they were listening, readers would feel like a pound of hamburger in a circling pack of wolves.

But they’re not listening. Sigh.

Seriously. When I hear myself complaining, I want to slap myself.

I mean, I have the best job in the world. The best room in the house is my office, there’s NO dress code, and I get to sit and make up shit all day. How does it get better than that?

IMG_0233

Yes, I’ll always be looking for The Next Thing. It’s a human condition.

Even if your country isn’t celebrating Thanksgiving this time of year, it’s a good reminder.

My Thankfuls:

  • My current WIP – it’s the book of my heart
  • My supportive writer-friends, and at the top of the list, my buds here at WITS
  • My amazing readers, who like me! They really like me!
  • My supportive husband, who doesn’t mind that I live in  a room with the door closed most of the time
  • My new adopted State, my new home town, and THE perfect house
  • My super-agent, Nalini Akolekar at Spencerhill Associates

And last, but never least, my muse, cranky old broad that she is.

Old Broad With Crown

So let’s hear it, WITS followers – what writerly things are you thankful for?

About Laura:

Author Headshot Small Laura Drake is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She writes both Women’s Fiction and Romance.

She sold her Sweet on a Cowboy series, romances set in the world of professional bull riding, to Grand Central. The Sweet Spot (May 2013), Nothing Sweeter (Jan 2014) and Sweet on You (August 2014). The Sweet Spot won the 2014 Romance Writers of America®   RITA® award in the Best First Book category.

Her ‘biker-chick’ novel, Her Road Home, sold to Harlequin’s Superomance line (August, 2013) and has expanded to three more stories set in the same small town. The Reasons to Stay released August, 2014.

In 2014, Laura realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She’s a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

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48 comments to Writerly Gratitude: What’s On Your List?

  • lorispielman

    Such a nice post, Laura. I promised myself if I ever got published, I’d never complain. I’m sorry to say, I’ve broken that promise a few too many times. But we writers are such lucky ducks, as you remind us. I’m thankful for the same things you mentioned, and on this cold and blustery day in Michigan, I’m giving thanks for being able to work beside my blazing fireplace. Best wishes and continued success to you!

    • Yes, Lori – exactly what I said, too! When I’d listen to pubbed authors complain, I thought, ‘That won’t be me.’ You know what they say, never say never…

      Sigh. Though I can’t stop those thoughts, I CAN turn away from them! Best way I know is by remembering a, ‘thankful’ (stole that term from our own Fae Rowen!)

      Enjoy that fire!

      • Fae Rowen

        Laura, you know that for a long while the only way I could roll out of bed in the morning was to recite a list of things I was grateful for. In the beginning I had to really work to find one: I woke up. Whenever life throws me curveballs, I resort to that old habit to remind myself how many wonderful people and things I have in my life. And I sure am thankful to have you as my crit partner!

  • I’m so grateful that this year, a book I spent so long writing and rewriting and fixing and adjusting and submitting and getting rejected FINALLY got picked up–not only that, but they took the two sequels to it, too! Part of me still doesn’t believe I’m actually going to hold a copy of it in my hands this spring.

    I’m just grateful I’ve always known my calling in life–being a writer–and despite the many, many pitfalls along the way, I’ve always been able to get back up and keep dragging down that long road. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    I think it’s okay to complain even as a published writer: you just have a whole new set of things to complain about, which in itself is an accomplishment!

  • I am so thankful to have met you Laura! Wonderful post 🙂

  • Love this post! I’m grateful for much. For knowing what I want and finding the reserves to reach for it. Not everyone finds their passion. Even fewer know what to do with it.

    Denise Willson
    Author of A Keeper’s Truth and GOT

  • I’m thankful for supportive groups like WITS, for my online RWA sisters & brothers – they’re so supportive even when I’m grumpy, and I’m thankful for everything I’ve learned about myself from writing, and by writing.

    Thanks for being honest, Laura. We all get grumpy – that’s human nature. Finding the inspiration to count my blessings and refute the bad things always helps me too.

  • Wonderful post, Laura. We shouldn’t have to be reminded to be grateful, but . . . human nature is hard to fight. I think I’m most thankful for my imagination and the opportunity to travel, which sparks that imagination even further. I’m a visual person and seeing the beautiful world we live in sends my thoughts flying to the page. I’m thankful for a positive attitude and somewhat thick skin. To write I think we need both.

  • I love this post… And I am married to a grump! (But wouldn’t trade him in for anybody else LOL) It’s so easy to get caught up in a deadline grind and worries about sales. But with everything going on in my personal life right now I’m reassign what’s important and finding joy. The joy is in the writing (most days) and not in the sale. I am so grateful to be published!

    Forgive any errors… I haven’t mastered texting on my I-phone.

    • You’re so right, Debbie – nothing like personal challenges to make you remember what is important. And I think we’re all so lucky to have found writing!

  • Writing is a great way to spend the days (and nights). Everyday day I commute from my bedroom to the kitchen to my office, a grand total of maybe 50 feet. Sometimes I get overwhelmed, but I try to preface each gripe with a “I’m so thankful for. . .” because no matter how behind I am on deadline, or how many rewrites I need on a chapter, or how funky my synopsis is, I wouldn’t want to be without any of it.

  • I’m thankful that you made me laugh! Now, off to work….

  • Thank you, Laura. This is the time of year to remember those things we should be thankful for. Oddly, my posts of lists is on the slate. I must come back often today to read other comments. I hear you and Shelley about the angst of being published … am all to familiar with those of us that are not yet … and in all of this I hear a wonderful common note … that so many are thankful to be writers PERIOD.

    Yes, the dress code is divine, the short commute to work is better, and of course, living inside my head, no matter how strange, is a delightful way to spend my time.

    I am grateful for finding so many kindred spirits in our writerly world. You, Shelley, other contributors here, and all the wonderful people I meet on line who are traveling down the same road. Thanks 🙂

  • I’m thankful for all of the helpful information that is provided to me and to other struggling writers. Thankful for a supportive family, and being blessed with a love for words and for a vivid imagination.

  • Lynda Jo

    While I am as yet unpublished, I’m still grateful to be able to spend focusing on my writing. I work from home as a virtual assistant to an author is published and is one of my biggest supporters, along with my husband. I’m grateful to be back in Texas after 30 years living in other parts of the country (which was amazing). And, I’m grateful that I met you, Laura Drake, at RWA 2014.

    This was a nice reminder to stop and look at what we have instead of what we wish we had.

  • Orly Konig Lopez

    Lovely post, Laura!
    This past year has shown me how important it is to hold on to the positive thoughts and be thankful for all the little things we so easily overlook.

  • Dot

    Thank you for this post. I really needed it! I was surprised that your muse looks a lot like I feel today! Old but feisty. I’m just beginning as a writer, and t I hope to be able to count myself among the published some day. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep on writing really crappy first drafts and then polishing them into jewels (at least that’s the plan for now).
    Hope to meet you some day.

    • Dot – may we grow to be the kind of old ladies that the ‘kids’ are embarrassed to take out, because you never know what we’re going to say! I aspire to that!

      Keep writing – that’s the fun part anyway!

  • Enjoyed your commentary. Most of all, it reminded me to be thankful for all I have. Not published yet, but really close. Your office looks so neat!!!! Almost envy you. I say “almost” because it sounds negative. But I have surrounded myself with books, not only in the book cases, but on every window sill in the house. So fortunate to live in the foothills of the Sierras in California.

    Oh, did I say I love your books?

    • Sandra – thanks for reading!!! Yeah, I can’t write in chaos – I don’t seem to have a choice but to have a clean office!

      I think ‘almost’ is positive! I was ‘almost’ for years, and it kept me going! May you get ‘the call’ soon!

  • Great post!! I’m thankful for the gift of writing, being able to share my life with both my characters and family, and God above watching over it all.

  • I’m thankful for the time (finally) to do what I love–write. And to find such a great ‘tribe’ such at this site and my RWA chapter mates.

  • In addition to several things you mentioned, I’m so thankful for the amazing support I have from family and friends. Good gravy, my husband’s allowed me to chase my dream for the last few years while doing most of the financial support. My family is always encouraging me and telling me I can do this. I have THE BEST writer friends, including knowing some of the WITS crew personally. And my non-writing friends don’t think I’m crazy — well, at least not for the writing thing. I feel so blessed.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  • alinakfield

    Gee, Laura, I married a grump also! And I am SO grateful for him because he really supports my writing. I’m also grateful for great writing friends, like, ahem, Laura Drake, and Anne Cleeland, and all the other RWA members. Most of all I’m grateful that I live in what is probably the best time ever to be a writer. Stay warm out there!

  • I’m grateful for the opportunity to write. And very grateful for all those writers, like you Laura, who share their words of wisdom for this journey called writing, –er life. Thank goodness for supportive husbands too! Write on!

  • Rebecca White

    Laura, your post was spot-on! — I learned the hard way that every day, every minute is a gift. I crab at things, but not a lot, and not seriously. Takes too much time.

    Thank you, Laura, for that wonderful post, and most of all for using my glamour shot photograph as your muse. (=/

  • You’re exactly right, Rebecca – every minute is a gift. Such great reminder.

    Yeah, you don’t get to choose your muse. But that’s okay, cuz I’m looking more like her every year!

  • Brianna Soloski

    I’m thankful it’s almost the end of the semester. I’ve got big plans for my holiday break from school and I’m eager to get started.

  • Beige Wishart

    I’m thankful I found this blog. You and all the other contributors helped me improve my writing. THANK YOU