My children have a very special box of books that they bring up from the basement the weekend after Thanksgiving and read from until New Year’s. Some of the books, like Winnie the Pooh’s Christmas, are “baby” books, which even the seventeen-year-old still loves to read because it brings back memories from earlier childhood. A few, such as Christmas Day in the Morning, are specially chosen to read on certain days of Advent to remind us as a family of what’s truly important in life. Others like the Snow Angel are fantastical, fun books which delight our imaginations and entertain us on those wintry nights of December. Each of my children have chosen these books, adding them to our growing collection.
The authors and illustrators of every book in that box are dear to me as a parent because their works have increased the enjoyment of the holiday season for my family. They’ve helped us to think in ways we might not have if it weren’t for their stories. They’ve made us laugh on days when we were least inclined to. They’ve given us something to do as a family every evening of the holiday season, despite extremely busy schedules. And they’ve united our family from the nine-year-old to the forty-two-year-old around a common bond we all hold dear – reading.
As writers we can sometimes wonder if what we’re doing is worth it. We might write for local newspapers and wonder if anyone even cares about what’s in the articles we write. We may have written novels which we think are good, but they continue to receive publisher rejections. Maybe we haven’t won any writing contests in a while. Or we’ve written stories for our children or grandchildren which they don’t seem to appreciate. My New Year’s encouragement for 2014 to all writers, whether you write for yourself only or for others, is to keep writing. Somewhere, someplace, at some time, there will be someone who needs to read what you’ve written. Trust that your writing is definitely worth it.