Giving Thanks, Publishing Style

Being the Pinterest addict that I am, I recently came across this lovely print just in time for Thanksgiving: 

{You can buy the print from the anavicky store on Etsy. I think I will!}
Such pretty colors, right? I also love those acorns! Nothing says autumn quite like little acorns (as well as falling leaves and apple cider). And Thanksgiving! 

I'm thankful for so much this year. 2013 has been very good to Justin and me, from getting pregnant to buying land (a recent development!) and to him finding a great new job. In March of this year, I also got my very first book deal with Scholastic. And that was truly a dream come true. 

As I think back on my writing journey and the winding road I took to get to this point, I'm surprised to say that I'm grateful for all of the bumps and detours along the way. When I first started novel-writing back in 2007, I was filled with shiny hope and a heart full of beginner's expectations. Surely, an agent was just around the corner! Then a book deal! Then MOAR book deals! Of course, I had read enough publishing blogs and writing books to know that it would likely take years for me to get where I wanted...but I fell into the freshman mistake of hoping that I might be a lucky exception to that rule. 

(Hahahahahaha! Sorry, I just have to laugh at myself a little. Oh, younger Caroline!)

In real life, my road to publication went something like this: Rejection! Heartache! Oh, an agent offer! Then more frustration and disappointment and plenty of rejection. Then moar rejection on top of the other rejections! Non-stop! Also, I need to completely rewrite this whole book. 

There were many times when I wanted to give up and take up sloth ranching instead. Or professional cookie eating. But now, I'm kind of grateful for all of that disappointment. It toughened me up and it forced me to become more humble, as well as more grateful for the successes I did have (got a 'good' rejection? let's pop the champagne!). Not long after I received the news that Scholastic was offering on my book, I looked at Justin and said, "My motto from here on out is humility and gratitude. Hold me to it." 

The publishing industry can be so hard, brutal even, and I knew that selling my first book wouldn't make it any easier to sell my second one. And so, I resolved that I would try to cherish every step of this crazy book publishing process, from tough revision letters to the inevitable bad reviews. At the back of my mind, I realized that it could take years before I sold another book—I've seen other writers deal with this—so I have to savor these moments as much as I can. 

So yeah. As strange as it sounds, I'm thankful this year for rejection and heartache, for somehow surviving the trials of querying/submissions/never-ending revising. I don't think I'd be the writer I am today without all of those bumps and bruises on my publishing path. They molded me in a way that success never could have: more tough, more humble. Although I still do cry a lot... I'll blame that on the pregnancy hormones. :)

Whew, I didn't intend this post to ramble on for so long! Anyway, I hope you have a fabulous holiday weekend. Tell me, what are you thankful for this year? And what are you looking forward to most on Thanksgiving day? For me, it's definitely pie!