Wednesday, November 23, 2011

YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday #106: Thank You!

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
This week's topic:
What writing or publishing-related thing(s) are you most thankful for?

Today's topic is a good reminder: Have you defrosted your turkey yet?

Paltry poultry issues aside, this question made me stop and pause. I have a lot of writing resources that I use and feel like "I couldn't do without them." My MacBook, Scrivener software, online writing communities. But while these things certainly help, I had to ask myself, "What really got the writing juices flowing again?"

You see, I put my writing aside for a long time. There were always "better" things to do. Education, work, family. It was only recently that I made the big decision to take my writing seriously. This decision was inspired by the following writing-related things:

Stephen King's On Writing

I've been reading King ever since I was young, but I didn't pick up On Writing until I was older. Here was a treasure chest book, part memoir of a fascinating writer, and part writing advice resource. King lays it down in his frank and engaging way.


I first participated in NaNoWriMo four years ago. At the time, I was still in grad school and still only wrote short stories, which I penned furiously during lectures and between classes. It was NaNo that taught me some valuable writing lessons: how much work it takes to finish an entire novel, how to push through even when you feel like giving up, and the importance of connecting with other writers.

Real Life Cheerleaders

We all know it: Writing is lonely. Sequestering yourself for hours, days, months while laboring over a WIP. It breaks my heart on the NaNoWriMo forums whenever a writer laments that their families/friends just "don't get it," or even openly oppose the writing process. That's why I feel very lucky to have true life support. I have a couple of BFFs that I've known for over 10 years. We've gone through all of life's ups and downs together. And when I first started penning silly short stories, they were the ones who read them and asked for more. I know, I just know, they'll be on board when I start asking for (gasp!) beta readers. The Spouse also deserves BIG HUGE props for supporting me. He'll listen to me rant or help me work through a plot hole, and he can tell when I've had a good writing day just by looking at me.

I think part of this exercise might be considering showing your thanks for everything you mention on your list. I've already donated to NaNoWriMo and I recently emailed my friends thanks for their support in my writing, but maybe it's time to finally pen that fan letter to Stephen King.


  1. On Writing is one of the best books any aspiring author can read. I'm not a huge fan of Stephen King (though I have read some of his books and appreciate his skill), and bought this book with some trepidation. After reading it, though, it's the one book I always recommend to anyone who loves writing.

  2. His writing definitely isn't for everyone, but I do appreciate that even those who don't enjoy his work can still find a lot of good advice and inspiration from this nonfiction work of his.

  3. Writing cheerleaders are great, especially the ones that will also give your work a critical eye. Our crit group stopped meeting for a while and oh how I miss them!

  4. @Angelica I was always timid at approaching others to critique my writing, but since then I've learned that a good writing group offers not only solid advice but act as a source of encouragement and inspiration.

  5. Yes, and when you find that perfect balance, hold on to them! Thanks for the comment on my blog, too.

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