Last week was Thanksgiving, but since I am still eating turkey, I thought I’d share my gratitude list during this, the season of edits. Lots and lots of edits, due in less than two weeks to my editor. This is my first manuscript that is truly going to be a book, so the process is a learning experience, humbling, and really hard work. But still, there is much to be grateful for, including:
- The support of my family and friends. I am not at my best these days. I am distracted. I also need more guidance than usual on things like Thanksgiving planning. I am thankful for my sister who took the lead on planning this year, and just gave me lists.
- My community of writers. I have friends who have walked this path before me. They are always willing to give me moral support. Barbara Ross’s “you’ve got this” is a confidence booster at midnight when we are both online. But they are also willing to support you when you are lost in your own book, and need a guide to get you through the plot twists that have turned into knots. Jessie Crockett, and Sherry Harris, I’m looking at both of you. And hat tip to Sherry–her first book, Tagged with Death, was released yesterday.
- My first reader, Jason. He read the last draft of the first model of this book, and read the newest model in 24 hours so I could make sure it all hung together.
- Fritos. Don’t be surprised when you pick this book up next fall when the smell of Fritos comes wafting through the pages. I’ve tried to be healthier, to no avail. Fritos are getting me through.
- Netflix. I can’t write with silence. I need voices in the room, but since I live alone, that gets tricky. But streaming Murder, She Wrote brings in familiar voices, while not distracting me from writing. Long live Jessica Fletcher.
- A deadline. There is nothing that focuses you like a deadline, with a real human being waiting at the other end. I have imposed them on myself in the past, but they haven’t been as effective in producing good work.
I am finishing the last of the turkey soup, and need to get back to editing. But know this, dear readers, though I am in editing hell, I remain grateful for the opportunity to be here.
Julie Hennrikus is an arts administrator. J.A. Hennrikus writes short stories. And Julianne Holmes’ Clock Shop Mystery Series debuts in 2015.