Today is a crazy day for many people. It’s the very last shopping day before Christmas. It’s Minus One until the First Day of Christmas. Possibly it’s a family gathering and a challenge to eat your healthy best. It’s long past some celebrations and smack in the middle of others. It’s Christmas Eve.
My family tradition is to open one gift on this day. Lately, I’ve only had one gift to open at all. Because my life is full of gifts and love every day. And that got me thinking about gifts I could give to you, my readers. I can’t do much over the interwebs, but maybe I can help you realize the gifts you already have.
You have an imagination. Perhaps you began spinning stories as a child, perhaps you started with fanfic in your formative years. But you have the drive to put words on paper and add them up to a story worth reading. Imagination is something that can’t be learned, not totally. You either have it or you don’t, but even if you have a sliver, you can learn to make it grow.
You know how to put letters on paper so that they turn into words, and words so that they turn into sentences, and so on. The literacy rate in the United States is 86%. 32 million adults in the U.S. can’t read. That’s 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read. This means they also can’t write, except possibly their own name. You read, you write, and you take advantage of that gift. No matter how you came to be literate, home schooled, public schooled, or private schooled, you took advantage of that opportunity.
You have a computer, or are able to access one sometimes. You have the gift of community, and access to many other writers around the world. If you need to learn how to make your characters stronger, how to put in amazing plot twists, and how to write a query letter, it’s all out there waiting for you.
The very best gift that you already have is the ability to self publish your works. I have read way too many ebooks that should have gotten a little more editing and re-writing before someone hit the publish button. That does not discourage me from learning more about improving my works and publishing them when they reach the best level I can get them to.
Enjoy your day, count your gifts, and drink a toast to creativity! Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.