Thursday, November 28, 2013


- a post by Jeanna Mason Stay

It’s Thanksgiving! Of course I’m going to write about something I’m grateful for. And it’s not going to be well-edited. Because one of the things I’m grateful for is my husband having time off, and I’d rather be spending it with him than writing a blog post. So there you go.

There are so many wonderful things to be grateful for, of course, and I could go on and on about the big things—the gospel, my family, the atonement, and so on. But honestly, at the moment, what I really want to mention is a couple of small things.

First: At this time every year for the past three years, I have been grateful for an opportunity to try my hand at an intensive writing experience. Yes, NaNoWriMo rears its head again. But really—what a wonderful thing for someone who spends the rest of the year agonizing over word placement and comma usage (and smart quotes!). I recognize this time as something that is truly a blessing to me. Each year I have learned something new and pushed myself forward in different ways.

Second: In a similar vein, I am simply grateful for opportunities to practice multiplying talents. Writing can be discouraging work sometimes. I have a lovely friend who I am always jealous of—she is a photographer. She practices her talent, and she gets paid regularly. Also, she gets the external validation of having oodles of people tell her what lovely pictures she’s taken (which is true, and I certainly don’t grudge her that). I practice my talent, and I end up with another few bytes of memory on my computer. And the ever present question: “When are you going to get published/be rich and famous?” (Published: Eventually. Rich and famous: Pretty much never.) It can sometimes make the work feel worthless.

But the purpose of the practice is not really to make money but to expand myself and my capabilities. Remembering that makes the work sweeter. It’s about becoming better, and I’m grateful to recognize that as a worthy goal. I’m grateful, when I think of the parable of the talents, to feel that God does not begrudge me this effort either.

Third: God does not begrudge me the work, and neither does my family. All through the year, but especially in November, I realize how blessed I am in the man I married and in my children. I can hardly imagine a more supportive pit crew for my writing work. I have successfully finished NaNoWriMo this year (yay!), and in part it is because of those nights when the hubby came home from work and said, “Have you finished your word count for today?” And when I pouted and said no, he sent me to my room to write. I joke that he is a tyrant, but really he is a gift. Even when I don’t get paid, even when I actually spend ridiculous amounts of money to go to writing conferences I’m dying to attend, he backs me up.

And my daughters? My six-year-old read over my shoulder earlier this month as I was writing, and she was so inspired that she wanted to write her own book. It’s about a princess, a ninja, and a forest. Cool, right? She was also in absolute awe of the idea that I was writing 50,000 words. What could be better cheerleading than my daughter? My three-year-old, well, pretty much she just gives me silly grins and tries to come snuggle in my lap when I am typing. But that’s good too.

So that’s that. Happy Thanksgiving, all. I hope it is a wonderful one.


  1. Wonderful “gratefuls", Jeanna! Congrats on your NaNo finish! I wrote “THE END” on my book yesterday. I still have lots of work to do on it (lots of random stuff that never went anywhere that I need to cut out, lots of missing information that needs to be plugged in) so I reached my goal for the month too. It sounds like you have a great support system, and you are very blessed. :-)

  2. this is great. I can so relate to the writing dream...oh, to be paid. Someday, I keep telling myself. I, too, have a supportive family and it helps beyond measure. And God bless you for checking in when you'd rather be eating turkey. :-)

  3. This is so neat to read, Jeanna; I relate to every single "grateful!" Well said. :)

  4. KASEY!! That's so awesome! Good for you!



Related Posts with Thumbnails