Sunday, August 5, 2012

Post #100 - Thank You Editors, Writers and Publishers

This is officially the longest I've ever maintained a blog. So I'd like to look back for a minute and sum up things to date:

1. This blog is a pretty good combination of my life and my business, and I'm happy with sharing the things I share.
2. A year ago this time, I was feeling the heat that I was failing professionally, and strongly considered getting a cubicle or retail job - the clients were infrequent, the checks moreso and I was really unsure of what the next steps were. (Note: Some people will step in here and say they are the cause for my upswing and success, and I want to take this sentence to thank them for their support. They were helpful, and I do not minimize their efforts, but I also don't maximize them either.)
3. My personal life has been...well, an adventure. And right now, I'm in some pretty intense therapy. So if you're wondering why I'm handling things differently, thank my therapist, my psychiatrist and the support group. They've helped me figure out more about myself in 2 weeks than a whole load of experiences and failures over 2 years. I look forward to keeping that up and going onward and upward.
4. I cannot claim to be cured, or in remission, but I can tell you that who I was a month ago and who I am now are not the same person - this isn't because I'm conflating things and posting bravado, this is because I finally had no other choice but to stare myself in a metaphoric mirror and get a handle on my shit. Not easy, not fun. But progress.
5. Where this blog goes for the next 100 posts, I don't know. I've got classes I want to teach in the fall. I've got Conventions I want to travel to, people I want to meet, and I'd like this blog to be my record of that.

Now, onto the message of the day.

I want to thank all the editors, writers and publishers I have come to know and work with this last year. I had toyed with mentioning them by name, but felt that such a list was grandiose. I then tried paring down the list, but thought that it was too exclusionary. I have since settled on this statement --

To everyone who has met me, talked to me, shared their ideas with me, hired me, retained me, and paid me, thank you so much for making me one thousand million percent sure that what I'm doing as an editor and consultant is the absolute best course for my life.

To everyone I have spoken with, carpooled with, been to your homes, read your manuscripts, exchanged emails with, laughed with, played games with, ran games with, been supported by, confided in, shilled for, helped, listened to, consulted, advised, amused, chatted with and been introduced to, thank you so much for making my life better.

I know that what I do sometimes becomes more than just my job; that it is a passion and in part an identity, and that I'm not known for my thank-yous or recognizing my friends, peers, employers and colleagues, but I'm making an effort to change that, and I hope that you all can forgive me for how I was, and understand that I'm doing all in my power to get better. For me, for once.

I know that I've not always been the best sort of guy - my tone still sucks, I can be a real jerk and an ass, and that I haven't always been the kind of person people want to be around, or that I haven't always wanted to be around people. To the people I've hurt, I am sorry. I will not air out my laundry for everyone to see, but I will say my apologies publicly - I am sorry that anything I did or didn't do upset you. I'm sorry I lied, I ignored, I stayed quiet, I boasted, I bitched....all of it. I know that for some people this is just more hot air from the jerk, and I know that I'm not going to be trusted or liked and that every word I'm writing is another nail in the coffin that buries me. Whatever. See above statements about being different now. I cannot make you believe it, that's up to you. All I can do is work on being the best me possible.

Editors, thank you for letting me work alongside you, for you, with you and under your expert tutelage. I am a better editor, writer and enthusiast of craft because I can point to the lessons you've taught me. I learn new things every day, and am so lucky and grateful to have the opportunities to do so.

Publishers, thank you for taking a chance on me. A year ago, I was just another guy in a room who happened to know a thing or two about getting books into peoples' hands. (That post is coming...wait for November) And now my name has been on projects, some people even know who I am, and I finally have a use for all these thousands of business cards. Without you, I'd be...well, probably making $35 a week teaching how to write query letters.

Writers, it is to you I owe the greatest thanks. You have brought me such joy, such happiness, such moments of clarity as I face down my preconceived notions, biases, shitty attitudes and nonsense en route to finding and refining my core value of "Help tell the best stories". I am so lucky to count some of you among not only my clients or acquaintances, but also my friends. All three of those things, I didn't have too many of last year. Again, what a difference a year makes.

I really have been #livingthedream this past year. Thank you all for it.

For those that don't know, my birthday is Tuesday. I have to be honest and tell you I don't quite know how I'll feel or what to do, but I can tell you I'm treating it like any other Tuesday (weather permitting) - I'm going to get up early, walk a few miles, then go to therapy and come home and work. There's also a dinner-thing happening. If you see me online Tuesday, please feel free to say hello.

Thanks for reading these 100 posts. I know some of them have been more popular than others. I know some of them have been better written than others. I'll keep being awesome for the next 100, I promise.

I'll be back probably Friday to talk more writing. Happy writing.

P.S. 2 things: Make sure you thank your editors. And please for the love of Pete, if you're not sure you need an editor, talk to one first. DO NOT trust your Aunt Petunia with your manuscript. She may have cooties. Or be an idiot.