Before we begin, a DISCLAIMER: I am about to get enormously sentimental. You have been warned.
Every year, my family kicks off Thanksgiving dinner by passing around a loaf of bread. Each of us breaks off a piece and says one thing we’re thankful for.
But I have a problem this year. There’s no way I can pick just one thing.
Last Thanksgiving, I wasn’t in a good place. I’d been rejected by eighteen agents in the span of a few months. I was bored to tears at my job. I wasn’t motivated to write, and my second manuscript languished in my computer, a half-finished first draft. I felt like my entire life had been at a standstill since 2008, and I was so ready for something to HAPPEN that I constantly wanted to scream. There was a lot of self-pity going on. I had trouble thinking of many things that made me thankful.
And now, twelve months later? Sure, there are still improvements to be made. But on the whole, my life is hovering pretty freaking close to the place I want it to land.
I signed with Rockstar Agent Holly this year, and I cannot overstate how thankful I am for her. Gratitude does not even begin to cover it.
I wrote and revised most of one book and about a quarter of another, and DELACORTE BOUGHT BOTH OF THEM. That still feels completely unreal to me. I’m secretly afraid I’m going to find myself in a National Book Foundation situation, where someone’s going to call me and say, “Ummmm, this is awkward, but when we bought RED, we were actually trying to acquire this other book called BREAD. So sorry, but we’re going to need you to slowwwwly back away from the publishing house.” But so far, that hasn’t happened.
And finally, fellow readers and writers, I met you guys. I’ve always been surrounded by people I loved, but only in the last few months have I really found my community for the first time, and it’s unbelievable what a difference it makes. A year ago, I had two friends who were writers. Now a day rarely goes by when I’m not corresponding with writers all over the country. I have critique partners to call when my plot is broken. I have a debut group to help me when I have publishing questions. I have a whole slew of people who actually LAUGH when I make bad National Book Foundation jokes instead of looking at me like I’ve just sprouted several additional heads. I never imagined I’d be welcomed into the writing community with open arms by people whose names I knew only from book jackets. But you guys have brought me into the fold and made me feel like I belong here.
Holly and Wendy: thank you for turning my whole world around, for taking a chance on me, for transforming my dream into a reality right before my eyes.
And thank you—ALL of you—for giving me your words and for reading mine. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: book people are the best people. I have never been so grateful.
–end of sentimentality–
Serenity Bohon says
So lovely, Alison! I've been in that doom-and-gloom place with my writing dreams several years and totally relate. I'm so happy for you that it's turned around so much. VERY happy-making post here.
Serenity Bohon says
Also, your blog is the CUTEST.
You are so adored! What a sweet post!
I'm feeling the epic need to hug you. Brace yourself…
Liz Whelan says
This makes me all sorts of happy. And no one is going to call you and take it back because we have a secret weapon. No one messes with the wee ninja's friends! 🙂
Alison Cherry says
I hereby squeeze all four of you. *SQUEEEEEZE* (That was a loving squeeze. Not, like, an "I want to make these oranges into juice" squeeze.)