November 30th, 2020

WITS Bloggers Give Writerly Thanks

Today at Writers In The Storm we’re giving thanks for the “writerly” people and things that help us put words on the page. We're also opening the door for our readers! Share your gratitude for writerly things large and small down in the comments!

Ellen Buikema

I am thankful for the patience and support of family, friends, and my many writer buddies—new and not-so-new. From them, I've learned how to be a better listener.

I am over the moon that readers have generously allowed me to share the lives of my characters with them, the wise and the wacky.

I am grateful for the help given by my editor, the late Jean Jenkins, who wanted so much to be a part of "The Hobo Code." She made me a stronger writer. May she dance with the angels and not critique them overly hard

*  *  *  *  *  *

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Jenny Hansen

2020 has been a difficult year for everybody: parents, kids, singles, marrieds, business owners and workers. I don't know anyone who has remained unscathed. Hardest of all, creatives tend to take on those fears and emotions swirling in the air, which makes it hard to create.

Today I'm thankful to Danny Iny and the Mirasee crew for giving me a piece of advice that saved my sanity for the rest of the year. At the LIFT Conference in August, Danny stopped me cold with these words:

"Gratitude lives in the same part of the brain as fear. You can’t feel both at the same time." (How fascinating is that? Here's an article on the neuroscience of gratitude.)

That conference and his Course Business Masterclass have opened my mind to new ideas, and my life to new people and opportunities. Three days last summer pulled me out of my pandemic doldrums and have sustained me for the rest of this crazy year.

*  *  *  *  *  *

John Peragine

I am thankful for my son, Max, who is always there to get me through the rough spots. His hugs and “I believe in you, Dad” were my great strengths this year.

Writing and publishing a book is hard - real hard. Don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise. Without my son, my wife, and my cats, I would have chucked my manuscript into the recycling bin a number of times.

Without my son, there would be no Max and the Spice Thieves. (Here's the link to Chapter 1 if you want to take a peek!)

*  *  *  *  *  *

Kris Maze

Kris Maze author pic
  1. My Time. I may be busier than I ever have been, as I now work mostly from home and never get away, but now I use those minutes I spent driving to work or dropping off kids more efficiently. Although my Nano word count may not show it, I am satisfied with my time spent on developing stories and re-crafting parts of my author website. (Be on the lookout in the next month or so for a sneak peek!)
  2. My Couch. The multipurpose focal point of our house, this sturdy piece of furniture plays host to writing sprints, Zoom calls, working from home, and heated games of cribbage with my kids.
  3. My Writer Support Groups. The writers in my tribe supported me tremendously this year.  It’s been a time of firsts and foiled publishing accomplishments, but within those challenges, they reminded me that writing is only as good as what gets on the page. 

The collective experiences and struggles of my writing community have encouraged me to move forward on my next project. Currently, I look forward to weekly chats and a shared writer journey. I enjoy a first sip of coffee with an early online writer check-in. What writer wouldn’t be grateful for that?

*  *  *  *  *  *

If you're in the States, we hope you had a good Thanksgiving. If you're doing NaNoWriMo, we hope your word count made you happy (or that you at least had fun). And wherever you are on your writing journey, we're thankful that you share your journey with us here at Writers In the Storm!

Many thanks,
Ellen, Jenny, John & Kris

14 responses to “WITS Bloggers Give Writerly Thanks”

  1. LauraDrake says:

    Hugs guys! The year is almost over - we're gonna make it! And Jenny, thanks for that quote. I'm going to remember it.

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      We ARE going to make it!! And I'm glad you like that quote like I like that quote. It's such a mind shift to stop focusing on fear and instead get into a practice of gratitude.

  2. Thankful for the authors who've shared everything they know.

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Oh man, ME TOO, Alicia. Me too. I learn so much from our contributors here. It's one of my very favorite things about running WITS...I get to constantly learn great writing lessons.

  3. I'm thankful for the bounty on this site, especially my WITS mentor Jenny. And thanks for that link, Jenny - some fascinating research and info there, especially this: "The Mindfulness Awareness Research Center of UCLA stated that gratitude does change the neural structures in the brain, and make us feel happier and more content." That's pretty compelling!

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You sweet thang! And YES, that article was a treasure trove for me. I like that they state flat out that instead of being grateful for your happiness, being grateful helps you achieve your happiness. That's a powerful mind shift.

  4. barbaralinnprobst says:

    I'm grateful for all the readers and writers out there who have given so generously of their time, attention, and care to me this year. That includes those who've given me a big wallop of tough love, a kick in the pants., a loving honesty. They are my teachers, through their loving honesty. "No, it's not good enough yet." "Dig deeper." "You can do better, go further, with this." These wise mentors and friends have helped me to grow so much!

  5. My thanks and my gratitude to all the WITS writers for sharing insightful and educational posts that have been as stimulating for the heart as for the head.

    I'm also thankful to all those who've helped me survive +8 months of lockdown/solitude. My thanks to Adrian, the yoga instructor who brought me sanity and self-worth when I was struggling for a clear thought. My thanks, too, to the online writing community that supported me and inspired me. There were those who pointed me, not in the direction of survival, but towards self-improvement. I could have spent 2020 languishing, waiting for the next door to open. Instead, I thrived. I kicked down that door and used my time like it was all I had left.

    This is my virtual hug to all of you, to everyone. I value humanity more now than before, and it's all because of you. Thank you.

  6. dholcomb1 says:

    Thank you all for facilitating this blog through so many facets of writing.

    denise

  7. barbdelong says:

    Oh my gosh! Almost missed this post. Thank you WITS team for sharing your wisdom and talent and time. Love that quote, Jenny! Virtual hugs to all!

  8. JL Nich Author SFF says:

    Thank you WITS for sending me your knowledge. I don't struggle to write because I have a plethora of backup buddies online like you, to grab hold of my suspenders and snap them once in a while, to wake me up and keep me typing. And of course, the characters in my head continue to shout out ongoing dialogue as if they think all I have to do is write it down on demand. I truly love WITS articles and I hope to see this newsletter next year filled with even more glorious information. JL Nich

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