November 20, 2007
Give Thanks for your Writing By Eric D. Goodman
Sometimes we become so consumed by the writing tasks we have in front of us that we forget to celebrate the jobs well done. Taking a moment to reflect on what you've accomplished isn't a time waster. In fact, a new book indicates that it can help you.
As a writer, I'm thankful every time I publish a story, complete an assignment, or get a payment. I'm even grateful for the "writing bug" itself - this passion for the written word that won't let go. According to Deborah Norville, that's a good thing - for both my writing career and my health.
And yours, too.
Last month, I had an early, literary-themed Thanksgiving luncheon. No turkey or stuffing, cranberries or pumpkin pie. Just a cornucopia of writers talking about their new books.
The event, dubbed "A Movable Feast," was part of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association Conference. I was there to talk with the authors about their books, and about writing in general.
The reason I call it a sort of "Thanksgiving" meal is because Deborah Norville, of Inside Edition fame, was there to talk about her new bestselling book, Thank You Power.
Thank You Power is Norville's term for "the benefits that are proven to result from the regular practice of writing down one's perceived blessings," she explained.
I asked Norville what busy writers could do to put Thank You Power into effect, and she said it was simple.
"Whenever you have time ... for me, it's often cab rides ... write down at least three things that you feel have enhanced your life. It needn't be monumental ... but even small things that made you smile, brightened your day, helped you realize how good your life is."
Norville suggests that writers take a moment each day to write down three things they are thankful for.
"Writing it down is the key," she said. "I interviewed a number of psychologists and researchers. There is a resonance that results from physically taking pen to paper."
That resonance is something many writers are well aware of. Since writers put pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard) anyway, we have a head start toward putting Thank You Power to the test.
What you write down can be as simple as the ability to write or as monumental as "my book just became a bestseller!" According to Norville's research, simply writing down three things that you're thankful for each day can have a profound difference on your physical and emotional health, your outlook, and your success - as a writer, and in other aspects of your life.
Writers like to write anyway, so why not begin your day-at-the-desk with three quick lines of gratitude?
For example, here are three things in my literary life that I'm thankful for as I write this:
What three things in your writing life are you thankful for today?
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