Writing is a business fraught with innumerable obstacles and marked by disappointments. No, it’s not like fighting-a-war hard, but it is simply very challenging if you are serious. That may seem silly but it won’t to anyone who has ever tried to get beyond the “I have a few ideas” stage and actually set to work. I don’t say that to garner pity (alone) but to say that it is easy to get discouraged about a lack of progress. I have been fighting that feeling off with varying degrees of success lately, and trying to keep my frustration in check. Then here comes October.
This October reminds me of last October. Last October was a good month for me in my efforts to be a “real writer.” I got my first paying gig writing fiction for West Virginia South magazine as they accepted my proposal to publish The Fledge Chronicles. The first story was published last October, “The Lion, the Bridge, and the Wardrobe Malfunction.” Since then they have continued to publish an installment of the serial in each publication. I am very thankful for Audrey Stanton, the editor of WVS, for being willing to publish the stories, and for her abundant supply of enthusiasm for them.
Last October I also debuted at the Rabbit Room, by the whimsical invitation of Andrew Peterson. I have posted two, or three times a month there (as AP requested) for the last year. It has been a joy to be in the company of such incredible artists and to get to know some of them a lot more betterer (see, writing is hard). The readers and posters over there have been a big encouragement to me, and I am so thankful to Andrew, and to the whole gang.
So, all in one month, I was being read by a lot more people and getting paid for it. Reflecting on this has been humbling for me this October. Who knows what awaits for me this October? Maybe more literary success. Maybe not. But I have reasons not to grumble.
Further, God seems to be kicking me in the pants with numerous exhortations to be grateful. Reminders of the mercy I’ve been given are jumping out in front of my car in a way impossible to miss. Mainly it’s the Gospel –pardon and peace with God! But it’s also babies, books, and bluegrass and many other things all singing from the same sheet music.
So October comes again. It’s another reason for skipping grumbling and going straight to gratitude. Who gets thanks? The God of Abraham.