Thanksgiving (for those of us in the US) is tomorrow.
On the surface, it looks like a holiday to deplore -- a paean to gluttony and sloth and greed. Like Valentine's Day, it's a holiday that shouldn't need to exist, because it represents a feeling that we should acknowledge daily, or at least more than once a year.
But like Valentine's Day, I like it, specifically because while I am frequently grateful for my life, I'm also glad to have an opportunity to put that gratitude into the limelight for a while.
I'm glad to say: Sure, I'm not one of the 1%, but I don't need to be. The Day Job, no matter how tedious, more than pays the bills. And in my breaks and evenings, I have the job of my dreams, the job I've longed for since I was younger than my daughter is now. I'm a writer and an editor, and I love it. And I love it for reasons I never even imagined, before it happened.
I love the writing, of course. I've always loved the writing. I love building worlds, I love getting into my characters' heads. I love it when they take over and demand that I tell their stories.
I love knowing other people are reading what I've written. Every time I see one of my stories move to someone's "currently-reading" list in Goodreads, every time I see a new ranking or review, I squeal with excitement. Even the mediocre reviews fill me with delight. (And I'm duly grateful that I haven't seen any unalloyed bad reviews, yet.)
I love working with my editors and seeing their suggestions for improving my writing. I'm not being facetious or tongue-in-cheek there, either. My writing has improved by leaps and bounds since I submitted Of One Mind to Torquere almost two years ago, and every time I re-read a sentence and remove an unnecessary comma or fix an unclear pronoun antecedent, I mentally tip my hat to the editors who showed me those bad habits of mine. I love that I've learned how to separate my work from my self-worth so that a good, harsh (but fair) editing feels cleansing and refreshing rather than like an attack on my person.
I love being an editor and helping other writers stretch themselves from "pretty good" to "great". I love knowing that something I put my hands on -- even if I didn't write it myself -- is going out into the world to entertain people.
And most of all, I love the people that I've met through this second job of mine. I love exchanging ideas and information and bantering with fellow authors and editors. I love the community feeling and the sense of inclusion that transcends gender and race and religion and political orientation. And I love my little blog here, knowing that you're reading my words, even if you don't always answer.
I have my dream job. It doesn't pay my bills, but it doesn't have to -- and that might even be having the best of both worlds, because I can take things at exactly the speed I want (or need) to. I have my dream job, and I have it on my own terms.
And that's something for which no words could ever properly express my gratitude and my thankfulness.
Thank you, for being with me.