Sunday, November 19, 2017

Beyond Thanksgiving: Writers Need Gratitude

About this time of year we find many articles about thankfulness and gratitude. Yet I contend writers need gratitude or thankfulness throughout the year and not just around Thanksgiving.

The world of writing is full of challenges. You craft a query letter or book proposal and fire it off to a editor who has asked for it—and then you hear nothing. You wonder if they got it or if they hated it or what happened? Then you get a letter from a reader complaining about the typos in your most recent book. Or your phone seems to be acting strange.

Let’s face it: every writer faces problems and things that they try which don't work—for many different reasons. In the midst of these situations there is one constant that the writer can control: your attitude. Do you lean into the challenges and work on something different. Or do you face the day with gratitude and thankfulness.

I’ve not always been a proponent of gratitude and looking at the glass as half full instead of half empty. As I have been in publishing many years, I’ve been working on my attitude and trying to center on gratitude every day.

A couple of months ago, Darren Hardy challenged listeners to his Darren Daily program that there were only 90 days until Thanksgiving. He suggested we keep a Thankful Journal about a friend or spouse. He asked us to write in that journal every day until Thanksgiving and then give it to the person on the holiday.

I’m not much of a journal keeper. I know many writers who journal but I've never developed this habit. At the encouragement of Darren Hardy, I tried this Thanks Journal and have been faithfully writing in it every day. The results have been fascinating to me. Every day I’ve focused on gratitude and something I appreciate then wrote into this journal. If nothing else, it has spun my thoughts and attitude in the direction of gratitude. In a few days, I’m going to this journal to the person. I plan to continue this pattern with a gratitude journal because I’ve found this process has been a significant help to my gratitude attitude.

Within the publishing world, there is much outside of the writer’s control. The one area you can control is your attitude. If you are grateful and thankful, that attitude will shine through to others. You will become someone who is attractive to others rather than someone always grumbling about this or that.

From my years in publishing, I’ve seen how the grumbler and complainers are perceived. The editors and agents may smile, treat you kindly and answer your complaints, but behind the scenes they are talking with their colleagues about how these complaints simply spread the poison to others. When these writers do not get encouraged to do another book, they wonder why. I would contend it comes down to attitude. Is your attitude attractive to others or repelling? If you are grumbling and repelling, then I encourage you to turn to gratitude and thankfulness and let it carry you all year long—not just on one day called Thanksgiving.

Let me know the steps you are taking in the comments below.


Gratitude is important for writers every day. Read this article to learn the reasons.  (ClickToTweet)

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5 Comment:

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Miss Mollie's Musings Left a note...

I do live a life of gratitude. I need to as a home health nurse, as well as writer. I may push that smile on my face, but people smile back at me. I don't even realize at times, I'm doing it. The world is so sad and as your examples reveal, often things frustrate.
I also believe in the law of generosity. I tip well. I give advice and want to pour into young people. It is not for any return. I believe in it, that is all.
I really don't want to live any other way. That life drags me down. I find complaining easy, but I don't want to bring others down. I am here to lift others up.

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...


Great input and attitude. Thank you and keep it up. Such wisdom in this comment.


At 8:35 AM, Blogger MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA Left a note...

Excellent post, Terry! I am one who has kept a gratitude journal, and I must say, it certainly has set my gratitude compass to true north. Thank you for your wise counsel. I am so thankful for you!


MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA

"Heart-Mending Books for the Young
and the Young-at-Heart"

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Miss Mollie's Musings Left a note...

Thank you.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...

Mary Ann,

Thank you for this feedback and I'm thrilled to know about your own use of the gratitude journal. It definitely sets us in the right direction. With appreciation, Terry


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