Thank You

As I look back on this year, there is a long list of things to be thankful for. But mostly, I’m not thankful for ‘things,’ as much as I’m thankful for people. This tends to start close to home, with my wife Sarah and son Owen, but it quickly extends to you reading this.

I wouldn’t be able to have the life that I do with Sarah and Owen if it weren’t for you. The person who takes the time out of your busy life to check in on what I am doing, to read my newsletter, to take a course, or to just pass along a kind word. That is — literally — everything to support what I do, and thus, Sarah and Owen.

Earlier this year, I shared the story of working with Miranda Beverly-Whittemore on the launch of her novel Bittersweet. When she and I were negotiating my consulting fee, she had to have talks with her husband to really identify what they could afford. That always drove home how closely our creative pursuits — our business pursuits — are tied to that which matters most to us: our families. Last week, when I mentioned Dannal Newman, a new author crafting his stories, I made a point to notice how he kept mentioning his wife. She is an integral part of his work, even though she will never write a single word of it. Between the words – those spaces – are the people we love supporting our work.

Every writer and creative professional has their version of this. I suppose that you are mine. I ended last year with a blog post The Small Moments, where I reflected on the value of the journey, not the goal:

To value not the diploma, but the process of learning;
Not publication day, but the process of creating and sharing one’s work;
Not receiving an award, but in connecting with readers and fans.

These are inherently the social parts of the process — where you collaborate — and something unique is created in the caring and enthusiasm of the journey.

As I look back on this year via my blog, I consider how each blog post started with a relationship or a conversation, and how they often extended to create new relationships and conversations after I posted them:

I also shared an essay about my journey to become a creative professional, “On Risk and Writing.”

The result of these posts is not measured in word count, but in connections formed because of them. Much like the way a reader experiences a book, sometimes the connections are internal — to new ideas or new actions. Other times, they are social — they create conversations and relationships.

Thank you for being there for me in any way you did this year, even just taking a moment to read this note. If you were willing, I would love to hear about your journey this year, what are the highlights that stand out when you think back on 2014?

Happy holidays to you and those you love.