Archive for November 23rd, 2011

Thankful Writer is Thankful

Unless I accidentally hit “publish” instead of “save draft,” today is the day before Thanksgiving.  Though it may seem trite, I’d like to use the occasion to talk about what I feel thankful for as a writer.  Certainly this is not a comprehensive list of everything I’m thankful for, just a curated list of what has made my life as a writer better.

Scrivener.  I’ve talked about it a lot lately, I realize, but that’s because it’s turned out to be the first actual writing tool I’ve used.  Oh, I’ve tried other products that called themselves writing tools, but in the end they were little more than toys to be played with then put away as I went back to Word.  This is the first product that has actually changed my process as a writer for what I feel is the better, and for that I am thankful.  Of course, there’s that little toy called the “name generator” bundled in, but that’s just for when I’m seriously writer’s blocking.

Vacuumed Cats.  I’ve heard so many horror stories about bad writers group, especially from my fellow members of the Cat Vacuuming Society of Northern Virginia.  I joined the group years ago while doing Nanowrimo and have constantly welcomed their presences as cheerleaders, beta readers, ass kickers, and their attempts to push me into a more extroverted state at conventions.  The last hasn’t succeeded yet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the effort.

Flash Fiction Contests.  I’ve stepped away from them the last two weeks while trying to get my brain into Nickajack mode, but they’ve kept me creatively energized lately, given me story concepts, and even inspired my own Flashathon insanity.  I worry a critical mass has been reached with regards to new ones, but there’s at least one contest now every week day, so they’re always there and waiting for when I want a quick bit of writing inspiration.

Collaboration.  Doesn’t hurt that my wife is my cohort in crime on this new novel, but collaboration is bringing more out of this story than I could have put into it alone.  I’m not going to say that every novel should be a collaboration, but at some level most novels are, just so long as the writer is doing any bouncing of ideas.  This is just a more detailed idea-and-draft bouncing that is working well as we can both focus on our strengths, which are complimentary.

Readers.  Not just my readers, but all readers everywhere.  People who would want to read my stories.  People who wouldn’t.  The mere existence of readers in the world requires writers, creates markets, drives demand, and gives me hope going forward in all my projects.

This is just a subset of those things that make me love my life.  Just those things that pertain to writing.  The full list is so much longer.  So let’s take a few days off, let’s enjoy some friends, some family, some turkey, and meet back here on Monday.

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