There is an abundance of sadness on the Internet about how hard it is to be an artist, a writer, a cartoonist, a woman, queer, a person of color, etc. I understand that people want to express their frustration, but as a person who is all of these things and more, it can get really discouraging.

Yes, I know I’ve chosen a career path that doesn’t end with me luxuriating in a fancy retirement home, surrounded by a menagerie of exotic beasts. I know that the circumstantial elements of my existence will make things even harder for me than they would be had I been born a Kennedy. But there’s nothing I can do about that, is there?

So for a moment, I’d like to celebrate my situation instead of letting it get me down. Please bear with me.

~ I’m grateful for my race, gender, privilege, lack of privilege, and choices, because they’ve brought me to the place I’m at now: doing what I love.
~ I’m grateful for my publisher, for my agent, for my readers, and for my friends and family (not necessarily in that order). For the venues that have hosted my events, for the organizations that have supported me so diligently over the years (Radar!).
~ I’m grateful for the tenacity of young me, who kept at it for so long, despite consistent utter obscurity.
~ I’m grateful for the folks who have bought my books and art.
~ I’m grateful for the people who have let me know, via letters, reviews, Goodreads, emails, tweets, Facebook, Tumblr, and in person, that my writing spoke to them.
~ I’m grateful for the people who have shared their work with me, or even their stories, their secrets.

All these things have kept me going through the highs and lows of the past seventeen years of this. SEVENTEEN YEARS! And I am so grateful.

Thank you, that is all.

MariNaomi is the author and illustrator of the graphic memoir Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22 (Harper Perennial, 2011). Visit her website at More from this author →