Gratitude, 2012 Edition, A Thanksgiving Post

by Joel Friedlander on November 21, 2012 · 21 comments

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Another Thanksgiving holiday has rolled around for those of us in the U.S.

This orgy of family, travel, food and thankfulness never seems to get old or lose its charm. Even some cooks’ best efforts to change the traditional menu are met with fierce resistance and pleas for the “old favorites.”

And Thanksgiving, if nothing else, gives us the leisure to reflect on the year that’s passed and take part in that great and refreshing practice of “counting our blessings.”

Truly, if you are reading this today, you too probably have a lot to be grateful for.

As for me, here are some of the things that stand out this last year, and for which I am deeply grateful.

I’m grateful for you, the readers of this blog

I’m constantly amazed at the variety of readers who read, talk about, quote, tweet and link to the articles here. There’s nothing more that a writer could ask for, and it constantly encourages me to make this resource even more useful to you. So thanks.

And to the amazing students in the Self-Publishing Roadmap community

When I first offered the Roadmap training course, at the last minute I decided to include a one-on-one consultation with each person, and I’m so glad I did. These talks have allowed me to feel like I’m a part of many publishing journeys, all at once. Including a memorable book launch party right here in San Rafael.

I’m grateful every day for my support team

There’s no way I could do all this stuff by myself, and that’s why I’m very grateful for the intelligent, responsive and reliable people who make up my support staff. Chief among these is Shelley Sturgeon, my VA.

Then there’s my technical support

Running a blog and various online projects means dealing with a lot of constantly-changing technology. Nobody does it better than Joel Williams, The Blog Tech Guy. He saved me numerous times this year, and knows how to talk me off the ledge I’m sure to be standing on when I get in touch with him.

And the software that protects us, too.

This year I put all my sites under the protection of Sucuri Security, an excellent monitoring and malware removal service. Let me tell you, the day you wake up and discover all your websites are completely offline is the day you become a believer in security monitoring. I know I did.

I’m quite grateful for the groups that invite me to speak at their events

This year I’ve been able to meet people and present to BAIPA, IBPA, San Francisco Writers Conference, and many online conferences and workshops. Each time I’m invited to participate in these events and share what I’ve learned, I feel like I end up learning the most.

And I couldn’t live without my clients

Every year I get to work on remarkable projects for all kinds of publishers, and this year was no exception. And in the next week, I’ve got over 1,800 pages of text getting uploaded on behalf of clients. This year has been a great year for me, and the trust my clients gave me has made that possible.

Guest authors make my day

I’m really grateful to have so many excellent writers share these pages. Just hitting the Guest Posts topic will show you how varied the 37 (so far) articles published here this year have been.

I’m grateful for lots of bloggers

And particularly all the bloggers that get included in the Sunday This Week in the Blog editions, our monthly blog carnival, The Carnival of the Indies, and for all the great articles I read each week that keep me up to date while you bloggers do all the work! Thanks! I’m even grateful for Google Reader, helping me to keep track of it all.

For my family

I don’t write about my family here very much, but they are both awesome and the center of my life.

And for all the product developers and coders and creators

Like the people at Copyblogger, who keep coming up with products and services that really work, backed by an amazing community. There are many others, too, like James Dyson at Optimize Press, the folks at AWeber, and all the other products and services that allowed me to make the leap into video instruction this year. It was amazing.

For my mentors this year

So many people have helped me this year, including everyone named here but also many others including colleagues Sharon Goldinger, Mike Larsen, Peter Beren, Dan Blank, Joanna Penn, Jane Friedman, all of whom have had something to teach me about publishing this year. I’m sure I’ve forgotten many, but thanks to you, too.

There’s this great community I’m in

With a lot of other online business owners, where we’ve been learning about new ways to do business online from Jeff Walker, the creator of Product Launch Formula. Through masterminds and live events, the sharing and camaraderie in this group helps to sustain me.

And really, I’m very grateful for all the new tools of publishing

It really is the best time to be an author ever, don’t you think? I still get jazzed by being able to sell my books through print on demand vendors, and by being able to upload ebooks and have them go on sale to a worldwide audience within hours. I’m smiling as I write this. Thank you Amazon, CreateSpace, Lightning Source, Smashwords, BookBaby and everyone else who makes this possible.

What about you?

Do you stop to think about all the things you appreciate in your life this past year? Want to share?

Photo credit: Muffet via photopin cc

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    { 20 comments… read them below or add one }

    Grace Brannigan November 23, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    So thankful I found your blog. The wonderful advice, wisdom, sharing and posts. So much work goes into this and I’m glad for what I’ve learned in following your blog and others in the industry. Such a collective effort to educate and help authors along on their journey.

    Reply

    Michael N. Marcus November 23, 2012 at 1:59 am

    I’m thankful to Bill Gates, or Al Gore, or Hewlett & Packard, or Cerf & Kahn for inventing the Internet — a communicating community that is awake whenever I am.

    Michael N. Marcus

    NEW: self-publishing company parody, http://www.99BuckBooks.com
    http://www.BookMakingBlog.com
    http://www.SilverSandsBooks.com
    http://www.BookFur.com
    http://www.Facebook.com/SilverSandsBooks

    Reply

    Tracy R. Atkins November 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    My Thankful list is 100 pages long this year, I have been truly blessed.

    You are most certainly on my thankful list Mr. Friedlander. Thank you for being a most gracious host and wise teacher. (And for being an all-around cool guy too!) :)

    There are more than a few people that frequent the comments section that are on my thankful list too. I am deeply grateful for the entire experience here, and the people most of all. The connections and friendships I have made are incredible, and the support has been overwhelming, as everyone has welcomed me into the community.

    Thank you all, and have a blessed Thanksgiving!

    -Tracy

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander November 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Thanks, Tracy, you also contributed this year and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of you in 2013. Have a great holiday.

    Reply

    Marla Markman November 21, 2012 at 10:06 am

    I have so much to be thankful for this year. I am thankful to you, Joel, for this blog and the community you’ve created. I have learned so much from you, which I, in turn, pass on to my clients. You make my job easy!

    I am also thankful for being a part of the publishing community. I am so fortunate to be able to work on such a variety of interesting projects, and work with clients all over the world–from Vietnam and Sweden to Toronto and New York. I have developed wonderful relationships with these people, and I learn from them as much as they learn from me.

    Here’s to a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander November 21, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Marla, I’ve always enjoyed book publishing because most people I’ve met in publishing are both literate and generous, a great combination of attributes.

    Reply

    Carla R. Herrera November 21, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Mr. Friedlander,
    I think we’re all grateful to you for teaching us so much and being so generous with your time, knowledge and experience.

    I’m a fan of this blog and your work. Thanks so much.

    Carla R. Herrera

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander November 21, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks, Carla, I really appreciate it.

    Reply

    Linda Jay Geldens November 21, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Thank you, Joel, for your generosity in sharing your vast knowledge about self-publishing through your blog. And for truly caring about the journeys of self-publishers. I’m also thankful to you for giving me the opportunity to write two guest posts for your blog this year. Several new clients contacted me directly after those posts were published — an aspiring screenwriter, a rabbi/novelist, a Brazilian romance writer, and a musician who lives in North Wales. See you at BAIPA in December and in 2013!

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander November 21, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks, Linda Jay, it’s been a pleasure again this year, and your great contributions helped. Look forward to more.

    Reply

    Linton Robinson November 21, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Sadly, I’ll almost certainly spend the day alone because I’m in an isolated area.
    A shame, because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. No commercial frenzy, no religous obligations: just sit down with the people you love, eat a good meal, and be thankful for what you have.

    Which is all relative. Thanksgiving once fell during my first week in prison. Yet, I had much to be thankful for at that point, and was well aware of it. And I wasn’t the only one at my table that felt that way.

    My grandfather, a fine gentleman of the old school, once looked up at a Thanksgiving dinner for my huge extended family and said, “Our true thanks is not for having full stomachs, but full hearts.”

    Reply

    Tracy R. Atkins November 21, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    That is a great quote Linton. Thank you for sharing that.

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander November 21, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Lin, It always amazes me to look back over my own journey, because there was never a time I could have predicted I would be standing where I was looking back from. I hope you have a peaceful holiday, and thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    Ilana Waters November 21, 2012 at 7:48 am

    I am grateful for the wonderful writing community (including yourself, Joel) who support one another when things look bleak. And after Hurricane Sandy, I am extremely grateful for heat and electricity! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander November 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    And to you, too, Ilana, glad you are recovering.

    Reply

    Jo Michaels November 21, 2012 at 5:35 am

    Ah, Joel, you beat me to it! This was to be the topic of my post for tomorrow. You know what we’re thankful for? All the time and effort YOU put into making your blog a hub of useful information for all of us. I don’t think anyone would argue with that and I’m happy to be the first person able to shout out a huge THANK YOU! for all you do. WRITE ON!

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander November 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Well come and leave a link so we can all read it, Jo, that would be awesome.

    Reply

    Dee H. Dodgson November 21, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Thank you for this post Joel, it’s so beautiful to count your blessings.
    This has been a difficult year for so many across the globe, that counting blessings may not be something they feel they are able to do, however, it changes things when you do!
    Our year started on January 1st with a very traumatic event (which I won’t go in to) and snowballed into one of the most difficult years we’ve ever had. Unbeknown at the time, this traumatic event triggered alopecia, (hair loss) but I didn’t discover my bald patches until July; there’s not much hair left now!
    Amazingly this has changed my life completely, in a positive way! Now I count my blessings daily which appear to increase daily, and the more I’m thankful for, the more there is to be thankful for, in fact sometimes I think I’ll burst.
    So I’d say to everyone, look around you, you’ll be amazed at just how much you have to be thankful for even when things don’t appear to be going your way. Start with small things, silly little things you take for granted every day and your list will soon grow, your attitude will change and things will start to look much brighter. Try it.

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander November 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Quite a story, Dee. Getting to a change point in life has never been pleasant for me, although I give thanks for the changes that they brought. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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