Gratitude for Writers

I suppose that we all have the kind of day that I had yesterday: just about everything I touched either went wrong or took five extra steps and three times as long to get done… By mid-afternoon, when I sank into a chair to have a snack with an understanding sister, I said to her, “Maybe I should go back to bed, and try it tomorrow!” My “series-of unfortunate-events” day lasted past midnight: a centipede or mouse triggered our burglar alarm at 3:30 AM this morning…

Often, those are the kind of days when I don’t recognize how God is working in my life. Is it surprising that those are also the days when I can’t seem to “get into” my writing? Being focused on all the things that don’t work out should help me write about the negative stuff, right? Instead, this exact opposite of gratitude only seems to help me whine.

Then I saw this practical and inspiring post on Suzannah Windsor Freeman’s excellent writing blog, Write It Sideways. Guest writer Jeff Goins wrote about how gratitude can help us become better writers,  and I couldn’t resist passing it on.

I think gratitude is an important attitude for communicators for many reasons, both the human ones listed in the post above, and spiritually, too. Blessed James Alberione, who founded the Pauline Family and gave us a spirituality uniquely suited to communicators and artists, often talked about two fundamental attitudes that we need as Paulines: openness to God’s mercy, and gratitude. He found these attitudes are perfectly captured in two prayers found in Sacred Scripture:

1) The Gloria (Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth) in praise of God’s great mercy

2) The Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), in gratitude for God’s wondrous work

I think I’ll start my writing session tomorrow with the Gloria, and end it with the Magnificat. I suspect that it will make me a better writer.


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