When I was laboring over my first novel, I can remember being grateful for every word on the page, for every act of grace from my muse, for every moment of time I was allowed to do what I love. I am still thankful for these moments of the writing process, and now I can add the heartfelt gratitude I have for my readers. The ones who send me emails like this:
“The grief in Izzy's life caught my heart and stayed in my throat. As I read, I felt this profound sadness, sadness that I haven't dealt with in my own life, my eyes watered and stayed wet throughout the book. My journey through the story touched something bigger in my soul. I connected to my own grief that I'd pushed down just to survive my days. By the time I finished reading, I cried for the first time in almost two years. Thank you. “
Or this one from a young reader:
“I love your books i hope you liked my drawing Thanks for letting me take a picture with you that has always been my dream that really meant a lot to me thanks for your autograph”
How can I not feel something profound, something bigger than myself when I read these? And yet it is easy to feel gratitude when things are going our way. But what about when we receive rejection after rejection? Or when the blank page wins? Or when ...fill in the blank. How do we find gratitude then? For me, I always go back to these emails (and others) and without fail I am reminded of the power of books and that what we do has a greater impact than perhaps we know.
And that is certainly something to be thankful for!