|A super thoughtful thank you gift|
for my feedback on a friend's manuscript.
A while back I went through a horrible writing rejection – I won’t detail it, but suffice it to say it was way more painful than any of the extremely numerous rejections I had previously faced. There were reasons. One of the only things that got me through it was the outrage of my critique partners on my behalf. A few days later, when I had stopped sobbing, but was still feeling deeply wounded, a package arrived. A large, strangely shaped package.
One of my outraged critique partners had ordered a dartboard and had it sent to my house. She thought I needed a way to process my frustrations. I knew her financial situation was quite tight, so the fact that she’d gone out of her way to do something like that to make me laugh and feel supported meant more than she could know. The same critique partner later sent me a mug that said TALK TO MY AGENT when I finally signed with a wonderful agent. Unexpected, delightful.
As I reflect on what I’m thankful for this month, my wonderful writing community is at the top of my list - and not just because they give me presents. (And I can say quite honestly that I reflect on how thankful I am for them all the time, not only in November.) I have met them all online, and have never met most of them in person, though they have come to be some of the most important people in my life. They get me and this crazy journey I’m on more than most people I know.
I have met a couple of them as they have passed through Seattle and made time to see me. One of them plans to fly across country to see a production of one of my plays in January. This blows my mind. I don’t expect my family to come, and yet my writing friends, they show up—online, through the mail, in person. Whenever I need it, they’re there.
One of them has become one of my closest in-person friends, but we met through Absolute Write. Now we go to church together, attend birthday parties for each other’s children, and always our conversations include talk of what we’re writing, reading, struggling with along the way.This in person friend is fellow Project Mayhem contributor Marissa Burt. Recently she listened patiently after church as I went on and on about my woes. Later in the week, I got a package. As the note inside said, this was a “Crappy Day Present” and while it could not change the Crappy of my situation, maybe it could make me smile. And boy did it – Marissa, ever thoughtful, sent me a pair of Ravenclaw sweatpants that I had recently drooled over on Facebook. Have I worn them for the last three days? Why yes, yes I have. And when I look down at the blue letters going down my leg, not only do I feel for a moment like maybe I really did go to Hogwarts, I also feel the support and love of my writing community - and my friend Marissa, in particular.
It can take a while to find your tribe. I remember when I’d just finished my first manuscript and had the hardest time finding someone appropriate to read and give me feedback. But the more I’ve interacted online, the more I’ve found my people. I’ve found them at Absolute Write, through Pitchwars, and on blogs.
So this November, I’m thankful for my wonderful writing friends: Jessica Lawson, Marissa Burt, Sharon Roat, Tara Dairman, Ann Bedicheck Braden, Laura Shovan, Marieke Nijkamp, Fiona McClaren, Brooks Benjamin, Sheila Grau, Robert Polk, and all the countless others who make this such a wonderful, nurturing community to be a part of. Thank you!
Who are you grateful for?
Who are you grateful for?