Why did I end up with a post on Thanksgiving on a website to encourage other writers? Why, when this writing season of mine has been driest I’ve experienced in years, and with my recent job hunt, threatens to be the toughest season of all? Writing a post on Thanksgiving could only mean one thing. I had to come up with some platitude of why I’m thankful for my writing journey and sound sincere, right? Well, if you’ve come to know me and my writing you know I can’t fake it. Don’t even want to try. Besides, a while ago I already mentioned what I would change about my writing journey, so being less than truthful would be, well, lying, and I have my tagline to maintain. Always Real, Sometimes Raw, Definitely Redemptive. So let’s see if I can keep with my brand and the title of this post.
Let me start by saying I’m very thankful for many things in my life. God. Family. Friends. Health. I’m even thankful for the little things like dancing and not having a full time job right now so technically I should have more time to write. I’d also be amiss if I didn’t mention my loyal critique partner who pushes me just enough, but still I’m not consistent in my writing to give him anything to do but make bitstrip cartoons of him taunting me. So it’s not that there is nothing to be thankful for, it’s about sometimes not feeling it because my focus is off.
So my advice for being thankful when you’re not…
Don’t fake it until you make it just yet. Feel what you’re feeling. Write it out. Journal. Whine, gripe, and complain to safe, understanding people and get it out of your system. You’ll be surprised that when the negative emotional energy passes through your body, you’re left with peace. Which leaves room for…
It’s easy to be so focused on the big picture that you miss what’s right in front of you. You might have your life and career all mapped out. You see your destination, but if you don’t focus on your next step, the things you can control to hasten your journey, then you’ll drive yourself crazy and probably miss a few important pit stops.
Freedom comes with a price. Examine your life and try and figure out what price you’re willing to pay for your freedom. Is it surrendering your writing to a process you might not understand? Is it working harder or smarter? Is it letting go of worry and taking things one day at a time?
I can’t guarantee if you follow my three simple steps that you’ll suddenly get all Pollyannaish, but I do think it’s a great place to start.
Your turn: How do you embrace thankfulness when you don’t feel it?
Gina Conroy is founder of Writer...Interrupted and is still learning how to balance a career with raising a family. Represented by Chip MacGregor, she finds time to write fun, quirky mysteries in between carpooling and ballroom dancing . Her first mystery Cherry Blossom Capers, released from Barbour Publishing in January 2012, and Digging Up Death is available now.