Sometimes I whine that my writing voice is apparently only good for catchy ad copy and not heart-wrenching literature. Sometimes I complain that editors don't reply to my (brilliant) pitches. And sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get my big break, whatever that might be.
But this is a week about being thankful, so let me take a moment to reprimand myself for not being thankful constantly for my ever-interesting, ever-evolving career as a writer. A career that not many people get to have. A career that takes me to cozy bed-and-breakfasts where I get a free night's stay to learn more about a southern town. A career that introduces me to fascinating and talented people and pushes my limits. Sure, it's not 100% perfect and it's not always the exact thing I had in mind, but I make my living off of what I love doing most -- manipulating language.
Lately, the Great Universe is showing me that other opportunities are on the horizon. For example, I have a couple of articles coming out in regional magazines early next year, and an essay that I'm rather proud of is slated to appear on a website I admire. Plus, old and new contacts have been reaching out. My networking skills are being sharpened. And the crap that I don't need to deal with - the stuff that's wasting my time, dragging my spirits down and not helping me excel - is disappearing, whether I like it or not.
On November 1st, I flipped the page of our sales tally at the Mount Pleasant Magazine office - the sheet where we keep track of that month's advertising triumphs. I usually like to draw a little picture that represents the time of year: a tree for April, a pumpkin for October, that sort of thing. This time, I drew a turkey. And this cartoon turkey is saying "Be Thankful or Else!" which I considered funny at the time (it was a jab at to how hard it can be to make ends meet in an artistic field) but now, I'm realizing it's a useful lesson.
The more grateful, secure and happy I feel with my progress as a writer, the more good things I encounter to help me on the journey. So, starting this week, I'm going to just take a deep breath and realize that in the grand literary scheme of things, I'm still quite young. And I have a lot of stories left inside me.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
|The original artwork. Hey, I'm a writer, not an illustrator.|