The Gift of Belief. No, I’m not talking about Santa Claus.
Last week, the YA Muses wrote about gifts for writers. What do writers want for the holidays? Things like people to read their books (Katy), ultra-fine tipped Sharpies (Donna), conferences and retreats (Talia), fingerless gloves (Veronica), and guilt-free writing time (Bret). Yes, sign me up for all of those. But the most important thing I want is something I already have, which is a community of people who believe in me. They believe in me not only when things are going well, but even when I have no faith in myself. When I’m thinking of herding goats in a cold remote country that has no computers or typewriters or notebooks.
Friends and family – writers & non-writers alike – post encouragements via email, texts, and Facebook. They listen to me whine. They talk me down when I’m facing the Crevasse of Insecurity. They celebrate the good things, and believe more good things are to come.
They also read my words over and over and over and come up with brilliant suggestions to make my words into something people – not just goats – would want to read. They listen to me obsess about plot, character, revisions, querying, success, and failure.
And all this time invested comes down to one very simple thing: belief. They believe in me. Maybe they don’t think This Book is the one, but they won’t say so. Because even if it isn’t This Book, it’s the one after that, or the one after that, or – you get the idea. And they’re all along for the ride, with all its ups and downs.
I’m frowning a little as I write this, because it’s so sappy. But it’s true: I love you.
So We All Understand Each Other: Just because I’ve already received the Gift of Belief does NOT mean I will turn down other, more materialistic offerings this holiday season.
So tell me – who do you have to thank for believing in you?