Last night, Thanksgiving Eve, I was in a funk--otherwise known as depressed and feeling sorry for myself--so I decided to do what some people have often suggested: Make a gratitude list.
I gotta say, just thinking about doing it made me feel even more depressed and sorry for myself. Stoopid bloody cheerful people . . .
However, this morning a Big Gratitude came to me: I am grateful that there are people in my life who tolerate me, even going so far as to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving and invite me over for some grub. So, that's big. Thanks, all you guys out there! You know who you are, unless I forgot to mention it . . .
Concerning my writing, it's been difficult, of late, to feel either good about it or grateful for what I have accomplished, what with Everything In The Known Universe tanking. Basically, life has become a giant Going Out of Business Sale, with no buyers.
However, when I really, really, really think about it, I am glad that I managed, if imperfectly, to produce a few books that someone thought worthy of publication, and I am grateful that a few people have actually read and enjoyed them.
I am also happy to realize--however improbable the odds are of actually pulling it off--that I need to re-create myself as a writer. Both to shake up the creative juices and to greet the new publishing world that is emerging. A monumental task, I know.
But I spend way too much time on the surface of things, worried and anxious and doing exactly nothing. Sometimes there is no help for that, but other times I'm just too lazy or too distracted to pull on my spelunking boots and snap on my head lamp, too tired to grab my shovel and start the descent.
That is the hard work of being an artist--getting to the core of things to find just what it is you need to understand, just what it is you need to express in your work. It's not an easy trip, and it's one that often has little material reward. I believe it is essential, though, to satisfy the soul. Mine, at least.
So my goal is to continue, despite all odds, to dig down and write write write. If that is a paltry Thanksgiving message, so be it. It's what I've got.