I believe adopting an attitude of gratitude will enrich your life in myriad ways, including your writing. How so? A grateful heart and positive attitude attracts like-minded folks and inspires deep, meaningful relationships. Relationships produce shared experiences – many new adventures and emotions – a wealth of incredible stories and a willingness on your part to share your stories with others. You feel good about life and this makes you feel confident. With confidence and positivity, comes productivity. You may write with less self-judgment, anxiety and worry. Whether it be a blog, a journal, poetry, marketing materials, or a novel, a gratitude attitude allows you to write more frequently and often, furiously. Without a doubt, the world has become increasingly chaotic and our lives are fast-paced and demanding. What can you do to make gratitude a daily practice in your life?
Each night, jot down a few things you are grateful for – try not to repeat the same things every single evening. I’ve listed examples of what you may be grateful for in life to get you started.
- Parents, lover, family, friends, teachers, neighbors, coach or co-worker.
- Nature: sunshine, rain, water, fire, ice, snow, clouds, sky, moon, stars, sunrise, sunset, rainbow, oxygen, trees, plants, animals.
- Books, movies, plays.
- Your senses: hear, see, smell, touch, feel, taste.
- Your writing talent and ability.
To be effective, the list needs to change. This exercise is to help you discover there is always something to be grateful for in life, even during difficult times. Even a writer’s block or a rejection from a publisher can turn into something to be grateful for – why? Once the writer’s block passes, you realize how important it is not to take your sources of inspiration for granted – and to write when the mood strikes or your muse visits. Don’t procrastinate. A rejection from one publisher leads you to submit to another publisher – and that may be the one who considers your writing brilliant and publishable.
A Recited Prayer or Expression of Gratitude – Daily
Write it yourself. Maybe write a new one every week or month or write one simple expression that becomes your daily mantra. Recite it out loud or to your self. Make it an earnest hope or wish. It doesn’t have to be religious but it can be. It doesn’t have to be lengthy or complex, unless you want it to be. Here is an example:
I am grateful for this day. It is a gift.
I will welcome what it brings.
Learn, grow and love through
blue skies and dark clouds.
for my life.
Here are a few lines from e.e. cummings that I often repeat to myself – and have since high school when I first heard the poem:i
thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes.
November is a great month to begin your gratitude journal or a daily expression or prayer of gratitude – or both!