By Beth K. Vogt
I read somewhere that Thanksgiving has become the holiday Americans skip over, cramming it between Halloween and Christmas.
How hollow life becomes when we forget to be thankful. When we don’t stop long enough to consider all the reasons we have to be grateful. So today, I’m offering a few I-never-thought-I’d-be-thankful-for-this reasons that I’m glad I’m a writer:
1. I’m thankful for those reviewers who don’t like my books. The ones who thought a novel of mine started off slow. Or who said a book ended too soon – and not in an “I want to keep reading” kind of way. Or who couldn’t understand why my characters did what they did or said what they said. You taught me that a review truly is a subjective opinion, not a personal attack. And yes, I’ve also learned to not read reviews if I want to preserve my sanity.
2. I’m thankful I finaled in several contests … but I didn’t win any. Go ahead and read that sentence again if you want. I had to. Yes, I would love to experience walking up on stage and reading my acceptance speech, rather than crumpling it up and tossing it in the trash. But not winning has taught me that I’m okay watching someone else accept the crowd’s applause. And I can applaud for my colleague too – and not merely pretend that I’m excited about their achievement. The writer who won the award when I didn’t is my competitor for a short time and is often my friend for always.
3. I’m thankful for frustrating writing times. You would never know it when I’m aggravated by the muddled middle of my story, when I’m enacting a Cheltenham tragedy in my office. (How fun to finally have the chance to use the term “Cheltenham tragedy,” especially since I write contemporary romance.) All the angst, the why-did-I-ever-think-I-wanted-to-be-a-writer moments remind me that I don’t do this alone. My mentors are available via Face Time and Skype. And God’s encouragement is available within the pages of my Bible – or on my phone’s Bible app.
4. I’m thankful that my writing journey hasn’t met all my expectations. Unmet expectations mean I’ve still got goals to aim for. I’ve still got things to learn. I’ve still got things to do. I can’t quit. Oh sure, I may feel like tossing in the literary towel sometimes. But then I take the time to be thankful that I’m a writer and I realize the blessings often come disguised.
Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A 2015 RITA® Finalist and a 2015 and 2014 Carol Award finalist, Beth is a contemporary romance novelist with Howard Books. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. In 2015 she introduced her destination wedding series with both an e-novella, Can’t Buy Me Love (May) and a novel, Crazy Little Thing Called Love (June). Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.