Ten Points of Gratitude for a Writer

Billboard printed with "be grateful"

Note: If you’re interested in seeing how the draft of Thin Spots is coming along, you can check it out on Wattpad. Thanks!

This being the week of the Thanksgiving holiday, I am mindful of the particular things that have blessed me as a writer over my life. To God and human, my humble thanks.

  1. I’m thankful for the first person, who, while sitting around the campfire, telling stories of the day’s hunting and gathering, decided to make something up to amuse and amaze his listeners, thus kicking off the long tradition of what Lawrence Block has called “telling lies for fun and profit.”
  2. I’m thankful for the people who developed the written word. Without them, writers would just be sitting there with pens in their hands, not knowing what to do with them besides make telephone doodles.
  3. I’m thankful for my sixth-grade homeroom teacher, Mrs. Allison, who was the first person ever to say I had a “flair” for writing, engendering a lifelong passion and incidentally giving me something to feel good about in one of the worst years of my life.
  4. I’m also grateful for Mrs. Casper, the 6th-grade teaching assistant who encouraged me to write poetry. Working in that form sharpened my appreciation for words and helped me see their endless possibilities.
  5. I’m thankful for the inventor of the typewriter. My handwriting stinks. Thanks to this wonderful device, other people besides myself have been able to read my writing.
  6. I’m even more thankful for the inventor of word processing. What a gift to the craft of writing! No more correction fluid or correction tape! No more carbon copies! No more retyping the whole thing because you rewrote a few paragraphs!
  7. I’m thankful to Professor R. C. “Doc” Wood, the English professor who gave me so much encouragement to keep writing fiction and poetry while I was in college. I hope, now that I’ve gotten my act together at last, that I’ll fulfill some small portion of the promise he saw in my work, to thank him in some small way.
  8. I’m thankful for my mother, who never abandoned the idea that I would write “when I matured.” Well, I guess I finally have, more or less, not enough to write the literary fiction she had in mind, but—even better—enough to write something that pleases me.
  9. I’m grateful for anybody who has or will read my work and not hate it, or, if they do hate it, at least have some constructive criticisms. That includes you, dear blog-reader—I appreciate you.
  10. Finally, I’m very grateful for my wife and son, who give me life- and soul-sustaining love and a firm foundation to stand on while my brain is whirling around in fantasy-land.

As it turns out, all these items are about people. People make the world go round, in real life and in fiction. They come in all shapes, sizes and dispositions, every one fascinating in some way or other, every one akin to the stars. For this, thanks be to God.

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