Like the ocean trenches where I take my craps.
Seriously like four hundred pounds of heart.
I write this post with whale heart.
Each year there are donations to Writing About Writing (or to me as a writer since the gestalt of my writing also involves other blogs and even some occasional deep thoughts on my Facebook wall). Regardless, people do this thing I sort of have trouble wrapping my brain around where they give me money so that I can do things like hire a housekeeper so that I can clean less and write more or hire a babysitter for a few hours so I can watch The Contrarian less and write more.
This isn't money I could go live on, even in Louisiana, but it has totaled up to a non-trivial amount for about the last 18 months or so. Every single one of you is amazing and awesome.
And this is all amazing and incredible to me. I am always touched, often have sudden attacks of onion ninjas to deal with, and have no small number of days where getting out of bed and writing is a matter of remembering the people I feel like I would let down if I didn't. If you think it's easy to call in when your boss doesn't care, try when your boss is 100% empathetic and egging you on.
Thus, I try so, so hard to write everyone thank you notes. I don't like writing the cut and past form letters. "Thank you so much for your generous donation....blah blah blah" That feels so impersonal and cold to me. So for every donation over certain amount, I really tried to actually WRITE a genuine and sincere thank you note. I tried to include some personal details about what's going on in my life, and some of the projects I was hoping to undertake next. And since the blog started, this has been getting more difficult, but still feasible. But they're time consuming to write. I spend about half an hour on each one, and while it might seem like I'm complaining that my diamond soled shoes are too tight, that can get to be hours and hours when I have a lot of donors over the threshold. Since the first day of the blog four years ago, it has always been my favorite and least favorite horribly wonderful chore/honor.
2015 was a bear even before the end of the year turned nightmarish. Toddlers toddling and time management failures, a miscarriage in the family I live with, health crises left and right, a dear friend's mental breakdown. Another friend's suicide. I was behind on thank you notes from the first day I went to Denver to help O.G. deal with some of her post op cancer stuff.
Still, I thought I was going to make it. About 75% of those thank you notes were written by mid-October, and I was doing pretty well. That's about when health stuff started getting very serious. We didn't know at the time what we were dealing with–just that there were a lot of really scary symptoms that the hematologist couldn't figure out. And then of course, the diagnosis hit, and nothing has been quite the same since. I've scraped together some time here and there (a bit more in the last three weeks than in the month or two before, but still not much) to do some writing, but it's been a catch as catch can nightmare.
So what I am asking you is that if you donated in 2015 (or this first six weeks of 2016), and if I haven't already sent you a thank you email, please forgive me. And I mean please literally forgive me...of the debt of that thank you note. Life has just been too fucking awful these last few months and I really want to head into 2016 with a fresh slate instead of the thank you notes of Damocles hanging over my head.
I'll be doing my annual thank you post on Friday if you want to check to make sure I received a donation, and if you really want to just get a tiny ping from me trying (ineffectually) to express my gratitude, you can send me a quick e-mail and I'll try to write something back. But I don't have it in me to do the 24 or so remaining thank you notes right now.
I'm still going to write to all the patron muses (and one particular single donor who dropped so much it must have felt like passing a kidney stone) because their help and support goes above and beyond–multiple donations, huge donations, monthly donations, free editing help, constant post promotions, stalwart shows of support, and inspiration– so if you're on that list and you want to forgive me, just shoot me an email (and be prepared to answer the "Are you SURE??" question). Otherwise you should be seeing them this weekend as I try to catch up on at least that much before the next round of chemo.
I am truly sorry that I dropped this ball. You all are absolutely wonderful and my life's business and inability to thank you properly is absolutely no reflection on it.