Counting Your Writing Blessings

Sunday, November 30, 2014
So it’s the last day of November, and many of you are slap wore out. And tomorrow is December 1st and you’re going to dash into holiday mode and not come up for writing air until perhaps January 1st, where you will be a hypercritical mess, bemoaning all that you didn’t accomplish in December—and what the heck, why not just include all of 2014?

Friends don’t let friends berate themselves. So let’s do something different this year, starting right now.

First, I want you to open a document, or grab an actual piece of paper, or just turn over that napkin under your coffee cup. And now, I want you to number your page (or napkin) 1 through 12.

Yes, 12.

And now I want you to write down the very first thing about writing for which you are grateful. Don’t overthink it. Just write it down.

And no, I won’t give you my answer because then you’ll use it.

Now, I want you to write down the next thing about writing for which you are grateful. In fact, I want you to write down 12 different things about writing for which you are grateful.

And I don’t mean writing in general. I mean your writing. What, about your writing, are you thankful for in this year of 2014?

Okay, hold on. You’re already scooching over to the negative, aren’t you? Probably thinking about what you didn’t accomplish, like the 32,017 words you wrote instead of 50,000 for the NaNo challenge. But guess what? YOU WROTE 32,017 WORDS! That’s pretty amazing.

What else did you do in the past eleven months?

Did you send out a query? YAY!

Did you pitch an article? Fire the confetti canon!

Did you write a short story, an essay, a haiku? Wheeee!

Look at you, writing and creating!

But maybe you’ve had a tough year, with life throwing all kinds of obstacles your way, and so you’re having trouble getting to 12. I had that kind of year, too. But I’ll bet you managed more than you think:

Did you remember to count all the books you’ve read? Reading (in your genre as well as craft books) makes you a better writer.

What about writer friends you’ve connected with this year? Did you count them? Whether you’ve met writers in person or virtually, aren’t you grateful for those connections?

And most importantly, did you count that you are here? Reading The Muffin, reading articles on WOW! Women on writing? Even if you’ve barely accomplished writing a grocery list, you have not quit.

That makes you a pretty awesome writer in my book. So pat yourself on the back and enjoy your December. And here’s to the glow of gratitude carrying you—and me—all the way through to New Year’s!

~Cathy C. Hall


Sioux Roslawski said...

Cathy--This is the perfect time for this post. Thank you. I will work on that list of 12 later today, after I meet my goal of 15,000 words this month for a crashed and burned NaNo from a couple of years ago (and I'm almost there).

And when I DO reach the 15,000 mark, that is going to be on my list of 12...

Renee Roberson said...

Thank you, Cathy! You are so right. I still tell people every day that I'm a writer, and always throw in "but I really don't make that much money . . ."

Yes, money is important. But creating is important for the soul, too. I've accomplished a heck of a lot in the past year, and you know what?


Margo Dill said...

Hey, how did you know how many words I wrote for NaNo? I do actually look at it as a success although I would love to have that fun banner on my Facebook page. I really hope to keep up my steady working on a novel in December, even if it's 500 words a day. Great post, Cathy, and you are very wise!

Cathy C. Hall said...

So glad for all of your achievements!

We're so tough on ourselves--and honestly, I've worked LOTS of different jobs, and being a writer is one of the toughest.

But being a writer is by far the most fulfilling job I've ever had. Bet you'd say the same, right? :-)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Great idea, Cathy! We're always so hard on ourselves, highlighting what we didn't accomplish, what we didn't get done, etc. What if we emphasized all the good, the positive, the creative, etc? Wouldn't that be amazing?! :)

Beverley Baird said...

Just the post I needed as well. But I did achieve 50,000 words - and have actually written a lot this year even if no one wants them. Thanks for all the encouragement.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Cool idea. I do keep a bits-o-bliss journal, but I've never actually written down "writing" stuff I'm grateful for. First on the list is YOU. Thanks for being an awesome writerly friend and for always having something encouraging to say, like this post, today (and so much other stuff). Thanks for this. I'm having a better day already. :)

Linda O'Connell said...

We have so much to be thankful for. I have come to a point where I know for a fact I will submit very little in September and December, due to school resuming and the holidays. Giving myself permission is a relief. Your posts are so motivational.

Suzanne Pitner said...

What a great idea. Usually I just write one thing I'm grateful for each day. This is the perfect way to look back over the year and celebrate all the wonderful things about being a writer! I'm doing it!

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