Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Writer's List of Blessings

I don’t know about you, but just thinking about counting my blessings overwhelms me sometimes. I started to list just the people in my life who have had an impact on me, and I had to stop after three full single-spaced pages.

So I’m subdividing my life into categories and making lists.

Those of you who didn’t appreciate the magnitude of that sentence clearly do not know me very well. I, the unorganized one, do not subdivide anything, and I avoid making lists whenever possible. In the spirit of the holidays, though, I decided to make an exception.

And, under the potentially delusional assumption that other writerly types might share some of these small blessings and would be interesting in reading them, here they are:

As a writer, I am thankful for….
  • My fellow writing majors, who get excited about things like the smell of a new book and how Ted Dekker uses foreshadowing.
  • Spell check. Seriously. I cannot spell.
  • Erasers, in a similar vein.
  • Humans being made in the image of God’s image, because otherwise there would be nothing likeable in any fictional characters (or in ourselves, for that matter).
  • The fact that God didn't make everyone a writer, because nothing would get done and our left brains would shrivel and the financial state of our country would be terrible (oh wait….).
  • Sarcasm. I don’t even think I could be funny without this.
  • Anne of Green Gables and the fact that I may turn out all right despite all of our similarities.
  • Finishing a long project and celebrating.
  • Writing bad stuff and then fixing it through the editing process. Or writing bad stuff, thinking you fixed it through the editing process, and realizing three years later that it was irredeemably bad. This is hilarious.
  • The fact that laptops warm up when you are writing on them. Not so good in the summer, but in November, it’s a great side-benefit. I like folding laundry in the winter for the same reason.
  • Background music. Lately, my writing soundtrack has been a strange and slightly contradictory mix of Owl City and Needtobreathe.
  • Constructive criticism. I mean this. I really do like getting feedback, good and bad. I like making changes too, because I’m not too personally attached to what I write, which is a really convenient trait to have.
  • Solving plot problems. They’re like brainteasers with a purpose.
  • Talking with interesting people about interesting things. Or debating with them. Come to think of it, a lot of my conversations with interesting people turn into debates….
  • Words. I love them. I love putting them together in fun ways. I love the power they have to express ideas, tell stories, and, at times, make fiction truer than reality.

I doubt this is an exhaustive list. There’s quite a bit here, though, and it just reminds me to be thankful, both in my writing and in my life.

Common grace is awesome. Do you realize that after the Fall, God could have sucked everything beautiful and enjoyable and good and fun and happy out of life? He would have been totally justified in doing this. But every color, every strain of music, every meaningful conversation here on Earth is an echo of Eden and a shadow of what heaven will be like. We don’t deserve it. But there it is anyway.

Try making a list or two of your own – even if you’re disorganized like me, I promise it won’t kill you. In fact, it might make you realize how much you have that you haven’t noticed before.

Happy Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

  1. Don't know how I overlooked this lovely post! (not like we were preparing to host a large Thanksgiving celebration at our house for the first time... hmmm...)

    Just had to say - I loved it! And I'm not sure how, in your kindredness, I hadn't realized you were an Anne fan! :) We really must have a fun chat sometime soon (after break, of course) about this topic.)

    I am thankful for YOU, the impact you've made on our daughters' lives, and this writing spark you helped kindle in this house, anyhow.