On gratitude

As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches (ahem, where did fall go? how is it almost winter already?), I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude. 2015 has been quite a year, and with 2016 right around the corner (finally!), I have a lot to be thankful for. My three page long acknowledgments passage in my debut novel doesn’t even come close to encapsulating my gratitude.

Something tells me this blog post won’t either, but I’ll give it a try.

  • I’m grateful for the people who’ve surrounded me with love and comfort and superb listening skills: my husband, friends, and family who’ve been on this long journey with me for years and are finally seeing it come to fruition.
  • It’s been a year of ups and downs. More ups than downs in the end, but man, perspective is everything. When I found out in January that my book was canceled, I didn’t know how things would turn out. I didn’t know if my book would ever see the light of day. Even though I had nothing to with what happened, I felt guilty, like I’d let people down. My agent. And especially my friends and family who’d finally been able to attach a date to this thing I’d been working on for years. Having that whisked away just sucked, plain and simple. Of course, everything collapsing in the depths of Boston’s epic worst winter ever didn’t make things any easier. Thankfully, my story had a happy ending–truly the happiest. I’m so grateful for my agent and editor–and my best friend for saying that the best way to resolve my pity party was to come to France with her and her family. Indeed, it was!
  • On those short and dark (but somehow never-ending) February days, I told myself (and my husband) so many times: I just want to be published. I don’t care if Kirkus hates it. Or if it sells only a hundred copies. I just want it to be real again.
  • Fast forward nine months, and I’ve found myself (of course) wanting the moon for my book and getting carried away as I see other people’s starred reviews and shiny promotional material and feel very  . . . overwhelmed. I’m trying really hard — this’ll probably be a New Year’s resolution — to remember back to when all I wanted was for my book to be out in the world. It’s still happening in 2016. I got what I wanted. Be grateful, Jenn. Deep breath. I am. I have so much for which to be grateful.
  • I’m thankful for all the amazing authors (the experienced and the loads of newbies) I’ve met this past year, especially the Sweet Sixteens. It’s so nice not to feel alone in this bewildering and awesome experience. I’ve made so many friends and read so many fantastic 2016 titles. Next year is going to be ah-mazing.
  • I’m grateful for my VCFA buds, who keep me real and grounded in the craft of writing, the one piece I do have control over.
  • I’m nervous and excited and grateful, yes, that too, that 2016 is just a few calendar page turns away.
  • As always, I am grateful for chocolate, especially

3 Responses to “On gratitude”

  1. Stephanie Scott

    Virtual hugs for the dropped book contract. What a horror story that was (assuming it was Egmont?). So much is out of our control as writers. I’m so glad you found a new deal and the experience is new again 🙂 Here’s to a wonderful, and less snowy, 2016!

    • jenn

      Thank you, Stephanie. And yes, it was Egmont. I feel very fortunate for my happy ending, as well as the connections made along the way. Not having to go through it alone was huge.


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