Today, June 24th, is a special day for me. Eight years ago, I got the call that the young woman who had chosen us to be her baby's parents was in labor. A few hours later, her mother called to tell me the baby was born--a little boy--and that he and her mother were both fine. We could come to meet him right away. Less than two hours later, I held my son for the first time.
Erik and I had been trying to become parents for more than six years, first the "old-fashioned" way and then through fertility treatments. When we decided to adopt, I realized that my doubts were gone. We would be parents--we just didn't know when. Nine months (really!) after we started the home study process, Ryan was born and made me a mommy.
To say I'm grateful to be his mommy is an understatement. And I'm truly grateful for so many people in my lives--not just my immediate families, but my children's birth families (we have "open" adoptions, which has been amazing), and my many friends, both writers and non. I'm also grateful to be able to freelance full-time (more than 16 years now!) and for the life it gives me both as a mom and as a writer.
So I have no problems expressing that gratitude. I've written before about how I believe in thank-you notes. People are often surprised to receive them, but I send them for several reasons. First, as a freelancer, you’re competing against hundreds of thousands of other writers, many of whom are just as talented as you are, maybe even more so. If you cane make yourself memorable to the people you come into contact with (in a good way), that's a plus. Sending thank-yous is part of how I run my business, and one of the things I’m known for. I’ve sent them to clients who have hired me to speak, to agents and editors I’ve met at conferences, and to people who have referred me to new clients.
I’ve mailed notes to say congratulations or to tell an author I loved his recent book or just to say I’m thinking of that person. I know I love getting “real” mail and thinking of the reaction of the person getting the note makes my day. And recent research suggests that expressing gratitude does more than please your mom (she's the one who insisted I write thank-you notes as a kid.) It boosts your mood and improves your immunity and overall health, at least in the short term.
And I'm saying thank-you to my regular readers, too. If you haven't yet bought your print copy of Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide to Making More Money, Second Edition or Dollars and Deadlines: Make Money Writing Articles for Print and Online Markets, I'm offering a very short-term 50 percent discount. It will expire by week's end, so order right away--and please tell your freelancing friends who may be on the fence this is the time to buy! Order directly from Improvise Press,and use the discount code, THANKYOU (all caps/no breaks) for 50 percent off of your order, the best price you'll find in any brick-and-mortar or online bookstore. And thank you!