Thursday, December 24, 2009

Saying thanks. Because no one writes alone.

Whatever holiday one celebrates (or doesn't), approaching the end of a year seems a good time to think back over the past 12 months and say thanks to:

• everyone who read my work, in any form, at any time, and especially those who took the time to leave a comment at a published online essay, and who wrote me personal emails about how something I wrote affected them
• the editors and publishers who accepted and published my work, anywhere
• my terrific writer friends who offered to read my (awful) early drafts and (somewhat decent) later drafts, and who pointed out anything and everything I could do better
• all the writers who took my classes
• the institutions and organizations who invited, hired and allowed me to offer a writing class, seminar or presentation
• the book stores which invited me to read my work
• clients who hired me to edit a manuscript or to coach them, and understood that all the inked-in comments and suggestions, and all the prodding, prompting, and pestering meant I really did believe in the work, not the other way around
• colleagues who sent me prospective clients, recommended me for projects, and let me pick their brains
• my on-going clients, both long- or short-term, who kept the work coming
• my 11-year-old who helps me out of computer jams and makes it seem like fun
• my 15-year-old who makes sure I smile and laugh at least once a day (usually in the aftermath of my having first threatened to cancel all the various extra sports cable channels because of some real or seeming infraction)
• my husband, who learned long ago that "supporting" a writer means always saying something like, "Of course I read it and it's great," and never saying, "So, how much are you getting paid for that?"
• relatives and friends (and former friends) whose stories overlap with mine (often unwillingly and almost always unwittingly) and who appear in my nonfiction writing, and who rarely complain (much)
• all of those who belong to the various networking groups which sustain me, whether in-person, online or imagined (yeah, that's right, in my mind Joan Didion and I are buds and she thinks everything I write sparkles)
• the mentors, faculty members, and fellow graduates of my MFA program; even though I completed it a while ago, these folks seem to keep on giving
• all my blog readers, especially those who have subscribed, who leave comments, and otherwise have nice things to say
• all of the writers, editors, and other literary pros who allowed me to include their interviews and/or contributed guest posts here on the blog
• my fellow writing world bloggers who link back, post great content for me to link to, and who have put me on their blogrolls
• the members of my writers' networking group and of my post-MFA writing club, who keep me sane, offer very smart advice and continually convince me that it's always better to write than not to
• the editors who rejected my work (I learned something)
• the agents (just two) who decided to "pass" (I learned something)
• my oldest work-related friend, the fabulous and funny Deborah, who, over a monthly breakfast plate of the world's best bacon, always sees a way to turn even the most negative situation into a positive (I never stop learning something).

There, that ought to do it. And in case I forgot anyone, thank you too. In case you forgot anyone who helped you in your writing life this past year, "thanks" costs nothing and makes both the recipient and the giver feel rather rich.


Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa: I followed a link from the Write Group email to you. I love your 'thanks' list. I'll visit again soon since I want to read some of your past posts. I've begun blogging over at wordpress (adventuresofamiddleagemom)after many years of a silent keyboard. Wish me luck! Darlene

Mummy mania said...

and thank you for all your great information and advice! have a wonderful Christmas.. said...

Everything you write DOES sparkle Lisa. I so appreciate your work!Happy Holidays!

Suzanne Strempek Shea said...

What a lovely idea to sit back and think of who helped you get where you are. Happy New Year Lisa!