What is the number one way to find gratitude? PRACTICE it! For me, that means COUNTING my BLESSINGS!
Brene Brown talks a lot about practicing gratitude. That is action, and I am all about the action! I love to see the connection between saying what I am grateful for and finding that there is joy. When I do it with my kids in quiet moments, there is more joy that emerges. Who knew that counting your blessings and naming them one by one is the simple form of practicing gratitude?
Writers, are you practicing gratitude in your writing? Well, if not, you should be. Of course, there is a story for you.
When I was in the depths of writing Pinpoints of Light: Escaping the Abyss of Abuse, I came to a point where the manuscript was over 100,000 words, and it hit me. I needed another set of eyes on it. I found an editor through a recommendation, and her reflection on my work was the direction that I needed to find the voice of my story (blessing number one).
She said something compelling to me,
“When I read your book, I know NOTHING about you! It’s like you have kept yourself in a safe place by focusing on everyone else but you. I want to know what happens to you.”
I had no response for three days. I wrote and rewrote that email response to her. Why? Because she was absolutely correct. I had removed myself from the story; therefore, I was safe. No one was going to hurt me. (Look at the victim mindset, even in my writing. WOW—and yes, this is blessing number two).
In her email, the editor’s comments were the start of me breaking down the story, finding two stories, and rewriting my first story for the fourth time. Are you following all of this? I know, right—this is the mess of writing. But stick with me through my own painful writing process. I found a method of writing that I help others with (blessing number three).
I suddenly found that I had two stories here (blessing number four). I removed nine chapters from Pinpoints of Light and focused on the story’s tension to pull the reader through. Suddenly the book because the story—entirely focused on the power and rush of the action (blessing number five).
This left me with nine chapters. I knew that I could share what I learned and how I healed in these chapters, but not until later. Of course, in retrospection, I can see the wisdom in doing this, but I couldn’t see it when I was in the depths of all the words. I felt like I was swimming in an ocean of words that would build and crash over me—nearly drowning me. But I would surface and captured these words into my second book (blessing number six).
Along the way, I discovered and developed the method of how to help others write their story. As I work with authors, I can see how my pain and going through the four-part writing process actually help my clients reach their full potential (blessing number six). (And—by-the-way—this process will be available to all of you in a course by January 2021).
So, writers, do you see how practicing gratitude can work? I mean, this is just one tiny example, but I think you get the gist of it. Now pick up that pen, crack open your computer, and get those stories out there.