Howdy-doodle! This post may seem like an odd one out, but oh well. I wanted to write it. Every now and then I get into a positive attitude of gratitude, and so I thought I would create a stupidly long list of the things I'm grateful for when it comes to writing .
So if you can stomach all this (possibly OTT) positivity, then read on ...
Do you like to write? Maybe you’re a full-time author, traditionally published or self-published. Maybe you are trying to make a career out of writing, but haven’t quite got there yet. Maybe you just write as a hobby and don’t plan on sharing your work with the world.
Whatever the case, I think there are loads of things to be grateful for when it comes to writing! And I know as a writer that it can be easy to get really really down about your work, and when you feel miserable about it, it becomes harder to write.
Thinking about how much you appreciate being an author, and how thankful you are for your writing in general, will help you feel positive about it and make the words flow more easily. Also, you’ll hopefully feel extremely happy by the time you’ve thought about it all. Bonus. Whoop!
Just so you can make sense of this post, I've put my own cheese-ball examples in italics.
THINGS TO BE GRATEFUL FOR IN WRITING:
So, here we go …
1. Amount of words written so far
Roughly how many words have you written in total throughout your writing career? You may be shocked when you add it all up and discover you’ve written thousands, hundreds of thousands , or maybe millions of words! Are you grateful for how many of these words you have published so far?
If you have fans, do you appreciate that they have spent their time reading all of those words? Your words!
- I’m grateful for how many words I’ve written and published so far, because I’ve enjoyed writing them, and it makes me happy to think that others have taken pleasure in reading them.
2. Ideas, imagination, and inspiration
Where do your ideas come from? Are you just sitting about doing nothing, and then BAM! an idea hits you, and you suddenly know the perfect way to weave disparate plotlines into the bigger picture? Are you thankful for all the clever ideas you’ve had that have given your work depth and made it as interesting as it is?
What about inspiration? It comes from many sources: people, places, watching TV shows, listening to music, admiring art, reading your favourite books. Do you feel appreciation for all of the things that inspire your work?
And your imagination; if you write fiction, are you thankful for your ability to imagine characters and places that don’t exist? And if you write non-fiction, are you grateful for how imaginative you are when it comes to writing about your topic of expertise?
I’m grateful for the ideas that come to me, because they always seem to come at the right time and improve my work. I’m also thankful for the things that inspire me, such as my favourite books and TV shows, because they influence my writing and help me to clarify what I find enjoyable in a story - and this means I can bring these qualities into my own writing.
What do you use to write on? Without it you probably wouldn’t have got your stories (or poems or articles or whatever) written. Do you appreciate having it? If it’s a laptop, are you grateful that you can write on the go and save your work wherever you like? Are you grateful for the laptop keyboard you type on, making your words transform from ideas in your head into something you can actually see on the screen? Also, think about all the people it took to make your laptop or computer … designing it, getting the materials, putting it together, packaging it, transporting it, marketing it, etc. There’s a whole lot of gratitude to hand out!
I’m grateful for my laptop that I have now written hundreds of thousands of words on and am continuing to write more on. My laptop makes my work possible in a convenient way for me and also allows easy access to research material.
4. Pen & paper
Maybe you write your first draft using only pen and paper. I don’t do this, but when I have ideas on the go, I do use pen and paper to jot down the ideas before I forget them. Are you grateful for that pen and for all the work that went into making it? And the paper? The tree it came from? The people who laboured to make it into paper?
I’m so grateful for pen and paper because it means I can make notes on the go and store them for later reference. I also appreciate all the work and money and labour that went into making the pens and paper that I use.
5. The internet for research, and other research material
I don’t know about you, but I use the internet for most of my research. Do you use the internet? Read books on your research topic? Watch documentaries? Talk to people knowledgeable on the subject?
When you start to think about all the research that goes into your writing and all the sources it comes from, you will most likely drown in things to be grateful for. Like for the people that made the research content available for you. For the time they spent on it. For the website that is hosting the content. For the internet itself.
There are just too many variables and too much to list for this one! But as you know what research went into your work, you will be able to pinpoint the things and people you are thankful for.
I’m grateful for the internet because it makes research and marketing easy and accessible. It gives me access to fans and readers and an abundance of information; not only writing tips and book research, but also entertainment for my breaks from writing.
6. Media, social media, and the internet for marketing
Have you used any marketing to spread the word about your writing? There are loads of websites that offer advertising for publishers and authors, from low-cost packages to high-cost packages. The campaign may reach a few readers, or thousands of readers.
Many websites promote your books for free, happy to support authors! If any sites have helped spread the word about your work (whether you paid them or not), then are you thankful about it? Are you grateful for all the work they put into it?
And don’t you think the internet is amazing when it comes to marketing your work? You instantly have access to people all across the world. And, because of social media, your work could catch fire and spread to thousands of new readers within minutes.
Take a moment to feel gratitude towards all the social media sites, the people that run them, the people that use them, and so on. Just think … to get a buzz going and reach new readers, it might take only one person to share your work on their social media channel. If your work has taken off, then maybe there was someone instrumental to your success, someone you don't even know about, and so you can aim your gratitude at that unknown person if you like.
I feel grateful for the all the marketing my books have had and for all the work put into the marketing. These campaigns have helped me reach new readers, which I am thankful for. I also appreciate the social media sites and people that use these sites, because they may have led people to my work without me even realising it. Thank you!
7. Freedom in writing
Writing gives you a certain amount of freedom. You can write whatever you want! And if you’ve made a comfortable living from writing, then maybe it gives you freedom in your life too. Can you work at your own pace? Take holidays when you want? Take short breaks throughout the day when you want?
Are you your own boss? Because I’m self-published, I’m my own boss when it comes to writing. I set the deadlines, I set the word count, I set my working hours. It’s awesome. And I’m sure your writing allows you some freedom too, whether it’s creative freedom or any other type.
I’m grateful for freedom in writing, because it allows me to work at a comfortable pace, take convenient breaks, wear what I like, work where I like, and write whatever I like.
Are you grateful for language in general? I think if you’re a writer, then you must be grateful for it to some extent. There must be something inside you that appreciates language being used well. Next time you read, think about how the words have all been put together, using grammar and punctuation to create meaning.
Do you have any favourite sentences? Have you written anything where you’ve found the exact words and way to express what you mean? Think back over all the times you’ve been impressed by the use of language (maybe your use of it or someone else’s), and try to feel thankful for these instances!
I’m grateful for language because it allows myself and others to express ourselves in manifold ways, eliciting emotions, taking our minds to fantastical places, and spurring our senses. The only limit with language is your imagination; which I like to think has no limits!
9. Other writers/authors
Do you like to read? If you enjoy writing, then chances are you do. Have you taken the time to think about all the authors that inspire you? Are you grateful for all the hard work they put into their work that you enjoyed? And if you took pleasure in their books, then does it make you happy to imagine all the other readers who have enjoyed those books too?
Maybe their work gave you THE idea that you based your entire series upon. Maybe they popularised the genre you write in, helping your work sell. Maybe they even created a new genre that you fell in love with and ended up writing in yourself. Maybe their work made you want to be an author yourself.
Think about authors you admire and why, and what they did to benefit you and your career. I know some authors get extremely competitive, but I truly feel there are more reasons to be grateful for other writers than there are to envy or resent them.
I’m grateful for other writers who have preceded me, and for those who are still writing now, or will write in the future. I find inspiration and enjoyment in their work, I learn from their successes and ‘mistakes’, and I’m grateful for the pleasure their work has brought to others.
Has anybody read your work so far? Maybe only friends and family. Maybe a few reviewers you’ve sent free copies to. Maybe hundreds, thousands, or millions of people! When you think about all those people and how long they’ve spent reading your work … just think of how many hours in total have been spent reading your writing. Time is money; and they’ve spent their time on you!
Those people didn’t have to read your work. They could do anything with their time. But they’ve chosen to give your writing a chance and to put trust in your ability to tell a good story. Do you feel gratitude for these people spending their own precious time and money on your books?
I’m grateful for those who have read my work so far, and for readers in general, because they have spent their own time and money putting their trust in my ability to write and tell a story. I appreciate their passion for good stories and their ability to take the words I’ve written and imagine it in their own way, effectively creating endless versions of the book’s ‘universe’ that I’ve created, each made unique by the reader’s imagination.
11. Tea, coffee, snacks
While you do your writing, do you drink tea? Coffee? Fizzy drinks? Whiskey? FRUIT JUICE?! Does it help you get through the day? Does it relax you and improve your writing in turn? (Do you use getting up to get a drink as an excuse to procrastinate? You sly devil.)
Whatever drink keeps you company throughout your writing day, it must have taken peoples’ time and effort for it to end up in your hand. Even if it’s tap water, think about all the processes it went through to get to you in a drinkable state. And coffee, tea: who grew the plants?, harvested and processed it alll?, packaged it?, shipped it?, stocked it?, sold it?, etc.
What about snacks? Do you nibble on biscuits while you write? Crunch on crisps? Are you grateful for the food that gives you energy to do your work? And the money that was spent on the food and drink; are you thankful that you can afford these luxuries? Like above, it probably took a lot more than you realise for it to get to you.
I’m grateful for tea! I love drinking it while I write, and it allows me to take mini-breaks to think through ideas and come back to my writing knowing what I intend to get done. I’m thankful for all the people and work it took to get those teabags to me, and for safe tap water, for the kettle (and electricity), and for milk, for sugar, and for spoons to stir the tea!
12. Time available and spent
You might wake up an hour earlier each day to get your writing done. Or write in the evenings after work. Maybe on the weekends. Or at night when the rest of the house is asleep. Wherever you find your time to write, are you grateful for that time you have?
When there’s a lot to do and you feel like you’re behind on your deadline, it’s easy to start feeling resentful toward how little time you have. But I’ve found in my own experience that this stalls my writing even more, because I spend so much energy complaining about not having time to write that when I do have time I feel resentful and tired and unable to think clearly.
Feeling appreciative of the time I have to write, even if it’s not much, really helps to get the words flowing. It also feels great to look back at the time I’ve spent so far on my writing and to feel thankful for that.
So, do you feel grateful for the spare time you have to devote to writing? And for the time you’ve already spent on getting your first book(s) written, edited and published?
I’m grateful for the spare time I have to dedicate to writing, because I can do what I love doing. I’m also grateful for the time I’ve already spent writing, because I have completed peices of work that readers have enjoyed.
13. Free copies downloaded
Giving free copies of your work away can be a great way to gain exposure. It’s also nice to give something that you put your heart into writing to people without expecting anything in return. Have you ran any free promotions for your books where people have downloaded copies? Maybe your work is permanently free.
Even if they got your book(s) for free, it’s still their time they are spending on reading your work. In a sense, they are giving little chunks of their lives to your writing, to finding enjoyment in it. That’s definitely something to feel appreciation for!
I’m grateful for how many copies of my books have been downloaded, because it means my work is out there, and people are spending their time on it, and hopefully enjoying it.
14. Copies sold
Okay. So people have actually spent their money on buying your work. That’s amazing! Depending on the price of your book(s), it could equal fifteen minutes of work for someone, an hour or more, or if they’ve purchased a lot of your books, then maybe it took them a day or more of work to earn that money.
Once you add up all those hours of work across all your sales, then there’s a lot of gratitude to be handed out. For the readers doing that work, earning that money. For their employers hiring them, paying them. For whoever markets or distributes your books, making it available for sale. For the reader actually choosing to spend the money on your writing. And for the bump in your book’s sales ranking!
I’m grateful for the copies of my books that have been sold so far, and for people spending their time and money on my work.
15. Reviews and feedback
If your writing is out there to be read, then maybe you’ve received some reviews or feedback from readers. Whether it’s positive or negative, hopefully you can learn from it and improve your skills. Maybe people have even gone onto your author website to get directly in contact with you.
Decent reviews help with sales and also inform customers on what they are about to purchase. This is a good thing for authors, and certainly something to be grateful for. How appreciative do you feel when a new review appears for your work?
I’m grateful for the wonderful reviews my work has received so far, because it assures me that people are enjoying it. Also, I’m grateful for the thought and time the readers put into critically reviewing my work. It will help me to improve my writing, and I am thankful for this.
16. Word of mouth
When you come across people recommending your work to others, talking about it, sharing it online, etc., it’s really exciting! Word of mouth is something to be thankful for. Even if it’s just people you know saying to their friends and family, ‘I know an author. I read their book. It was great!’
Do you know of people who are giving your work exposure through word of mouth? Take a moment to think about what a positive thing this is and how thankful you are for it.
I’m grateful for word of mouth when it comes to my writing, because if it’s positive talk then it means the speaker enjoyed it enough to talk about it, and if it’s negative then I suppose it's free publicity!
17. Friends and family reading first drafts
If you’re a cruel writer like me, then maybe you chuck your first drafts at your friends and family, letting them read through all the errors, inconsistencies, and clunky sentences. Have you taken the time to thank them for all their support? Maybe you gave them one chapter at a time, because you were still writing it, and so they were even made to wait for the next instalment! You wicked person.
I’ve been so lucky in having friends and family who are willing to give feedback on my writing, and it’s something worth more than I can say. I never know how to thank them enough.
I’m grateful for my friends and family reading my awful first drafts and giving helpful feedback and much-needed encouragement!
18. Editors, cover designers, formatters, publishers, etc.
Are you with a publishing house? Do you work with an editor? Does someone format your eBook, getting it ready for sale on all e-Reader devices, or maybe formatting the paperback edition? And who designs your book covers?
Any of these services being professionally done (or just done well) can make a massive difference. Having well edited work will set yours apart from the many self-published pieces out there that were released before they were ready (like I was too eager and released my first novel with some mistakes present).
I’m so grateful for the people who have helped to edit my work, and for all the programs I’ve used to design and format my books.
19. Sellers/retailers, distributors, and all their staff
Where do you sell your work? Maybe exclusively with only one retailer, or maybe through as many as possible, or through one that distributes to all. These sellers make your writing available to customers. Do they also market your work? Well, whatever they do, it takes the continued work of their staff to make your books readily available for millions of potential customers.
If you can take the time to think of all the different processes your book has gone through to become available, then you’ll find a lot of people and things to give thanks to.
I feel grateful for the companies that sell my work, marketing and distributing it, and for the technology they have developed and used in the process, and for all of their staff who make it possible.
20. Word processors, other writing programs
There are lots of word processing programs out there, some of them free, some not, and some of them simple, some complicated! I paid for writing software that allows me to organise my work, keeping track of all the different elements. And it’s so helpful!
Think about the tools you use to get your writing done. My handwriting is awful, and, because I don’t write by hand often enough, my hand starts to ache after a few paragraphs. But typing on a word processor I can do all day long.
I’m grateful for the processors and programs I use for my writing, allowing me to organise it all, keep it in one place, and also make multiple versions, if needed.
21. Bookstores, libraries, etc.
Are you grateful for brick-and-mortar bookstores that sell your paperback books? And for the libraries that stock it? For their staff teams?
I’m grateful for bookstores that sell my work, and libraries that stock it. Wait a minute ... I don't think my books are in any brick-and-mortar stores as of yet. Well, anyway ... the sentiments there.
22. The process of writing
Do you enjoy the process of writing? I’m guessing you do, as you’re a writer! I know for me there’s an awesome feeling when I find the exact way I want to describe something, and when I read back over my work and think ‘Yeah, that’s pretty good actually!’
So, have you stopped to think about how much you appreciate the process of writing itself? Does writing make your life feel complete? Is it the only thing you want to do as a career?
I’m so grateful for the process of writing, how much I enjoy getting lost in the words! I love the feeling of finding the exact words I want to use.
23. Writing by hand
I never really write by hand. Only notes here and there. But if you do, are you grateful for the ability to write by hand? Grateful that your ideas can make their way from inside your skull onto a piece of paper?
I’m grateful that I have the ability to write by hand, when I wish to, and to make notes and brainstorm ideas.
I assume you use electricity at some point throughout your writing. Do you write at a computer or on a laptop? Do you have a light switched on while you’re writing? Do you sell your books online? All of these require electricity somewhere along the lines; yours or someone else’s.
Do you feel thankful for electricity?
I am grateful for the electricity I use for my laptop that I type on, and for having a light switched on in my room. Also, I'm grateful for the electricity others use while surfing the internet on their computers, maybe coming across my books!
25. Memories, senses, and emotion
Well, it would be difficult to cover all of these in depth, but your writing will be influenced by how you experience your emotions and senses. I know in my writing that I base a lot of things on my memories, and so I am thankful for these experiences that I’ve had … even if they were tough at the time.
Because we all have emotions and senses, bringing these into our writing makes it feel real and relatable, and makes readers feel like they are there experiencing it themselves! You may have had some bad experiences in your life that made you feel negative emotions, but now you’re able to use your knowledge of that pain and bring it into your writing.
Are you grateful for your memories, senses, and emotions?
I’m grateful for all of my memories, even the bad ones, and for my emotions, because I’ve learnt form the pain and can describe it more accurately, and I can use the memories in my writing. I’m also thankful for my senses and finding creative ways to portray characters’ senses in my work.
26. Education, teachers, being taught to read and write
Are you grateful for the education you’ve had? Whether you went to school, were home-schooled, taught yourself, or whatever, you’ve had the means to learn everything that you now know! At school you were taught to read and write, and it would be difficult to be an author if you couldn’t do these things.
Think back on all the education you’ve had and try to feel thankful towards all those people that taught you.
I’m so grateful for the education I was provided. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to write the books I have written.
There’s much more to be grateful for …
I’ve probably missed a lot of things off of this list, but that’s okay, because I’m sure when you start thinking on the subject, you will come up with more and more to be thankful for.
I hope you don’t read this list in this way: ‘You should be grateful for these things!’ Because I don’t mean any of it in this way. It’s all just meant to make you think, and to help you discover what you feel truly grateful for. If you don’t feel gratitude for some of these things, that’s not a problem and you don’t need to force yourself to feel appreciation for them. Just find other things you are appreciative of and feel happy thinking about.
Please comment below and tell me the things you are grateful for ...
If you are a writer or reader (or anyone at all), please feel free to comment below and share the things you are grateful for and why. Or let me know what you think about this blog post or if I've missed off any blatantly obvious things I 'should' be feeling grateful for.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!
Thank you for reading,