Monday, November 28, 2011

One last note on Thankfulness

I had lofty goals when I started my 30 Days of Thankfulness in Writing Challenge. Sure I have more than thirty things to be thankful for, but not all of them ended up meriting me writing a full entry about them. Add to that the many topics I’ve covered in the past year and I found myself stumped as to what to do next.

Do I continue trying to write pieces about what I’m thankful about for the sake of fulfilling my conceived requirement? Or do I take this as a learning opportunity and see it not as a failure but a reminder that writing isn’t about filling quotas, it’s about conveying heartfelt messages designed to instruct, encourage, and edify others?

Like every writer, I set my notes aside for a few days to let my mind mull them over while I worked on something different. And as is usually the case for me, my answer came in the middle of the night.

So as I end the month of November there is one more thing I want to share about my writing life that I am thankful for, and that is I’ve learned something very important about my writing life: Chiefly that even with as hectic of a schedule as I have I can make time to write, and to write well when I put my mind to it. I’ve posted more to my blog in this past month than I have all year. I just submitted two new articles for publication and received payment for a piece that was already published. I also have two more articles in the works that I’m really excited about. I also finished writing a book this year and have an idea for another.

At this time last year I was questioning who I was as a writer. I had more rejections to my name than anything else. I was frustrated. I was floundering. And I was ready to quit.

Fortunately I have a best friend and a family who wouldn’t hear of it. They pushed me to keep trying new things.  They encouraged me to keep learning everything I could, and they continue to cheer me on even now.

I didn’t reach my 30 posts for the month, but this challenge caused me to look at my writing life through a lens of thankfulness. Instead of seeing failures, I see where I’ve succeeded. It has also served as a catalyst to reignite my desire to write for the sheer enjoyment of it.

Yes, writing is a job. It requires sacrifice, dedication, nerves of steel, and a little bit of insanity. I haven’t reached my full potential yet, but I know I’m on my way. But writing is also an incredible and rewarding pastime. It takes the imagination and makes it real. It’s active, never passive. And going into the new year that’s exactly what I intend to be.

When looking at my world through that perspective I would call this month’s experiment a true success.


  1. Fantastic thoughts! Even to just stop and think about what you are thankful for is worthy of a challenge, I think.

    And I am thankful, too, for the time and ability to write. I don't get to write as many personal stories as I'd like but I'm *writing*. That, in and of itself, is both amazing and truly edifying to me.

  2. Yes, it is Jess! One thing I've discovered is that while I can't always write what I *want* to write, it's far more rewarding to hear that I wrote something someone else needed to hear, instead. Keep writing and moving towards your goal!