Friday, November 25, 2016

Gratitude Game--Celebrate What's Working in Your Writing Life

These past few weeks, I've experienced an unusual stall-out in my writing.  I couldn't locate any still point inside, or that "necessary boredom" that writer Dorothy Allison says is a prerequisite to writing well.  It was as if my creative heart was too sore to create. 

I knew that writing could actually be the way to come back to myself, get away from the incessant barrage of crises.  But I was hard pressed to find the way in.

Then I remembered a friend's game, something she likes to play when she's down and out.  She calls it the gratitude game.  It's pretty simple:  make a list of what you're grateful for.  Or find a partner and go back and forth, saying one gratitude item each, then another.

I thought, why not try it?  I wanted to get back to my writing!

So I began listing what was working, what was still alive and well in my writing life.  Here's the short list:

1.  I have three fabulous writing partners who exchange work with me.
2.  I've mastered Scrivener enough to not struggle with it--and it makes my writing easier.
3.  My second novel is done--although new feedback will cause some reworking, that's minor.
4.  I have a great space to write in.  Lots of sunshine coming in the windows, now that the sun travels lower in the sky.
5.  Winter is traditionally a great time for me to get a lot of writing done.
6.  I'm reading three great books at the moment, full of juicy images, and plenty of inspiration.
7.  My family supports my writing whole-heartedly. 
8.  I posted a notice on FB that my second novel was almost finished and I got tons of likes and responses, including a few people who pre-reserved it on my amazon page (wow!).
9.  I made a cool collage for one of my elusive characters.
10.  I have two really great ideas for my next books and have begun to pitch them.
11.  I pretty much adore writing.  Even when it sucks.
12.  I think I'm getting steadily better as a writer, which is heartening.

Your weekly writing exercise, in honor of the American holiday of Thanksgiving this week and the good spirit that resides in all of us, is to play the gratitude game with your writing--or your life. 

I hope it'll give you new courage, as it did me. 

Here's a quote by writer Ben Okri, to help you along:  "Stories can conquer fear, you know.  They can make the heart bigger."