Writing with a Grateful Heart

August 22, 2011

Let’s talk for a minute about gratitude.

Being thankful doesn’t always come easy to a writer, especially in the early days. After all, how are you thankful for repeat rejections, days of weak words that reduce your WIP to crap and month after month of no paycheck, no accolades and no self-worth?

I don’t know how I’m thankful in the face of those nasty things, but I am. I’m a writer. I’m living my dream. And while I’m not quite there yet, I’m privileged to wake up every morning and do something else to push me closer.

Recently, sobering events have taken place around me. (Actually, sobering events were always there. I seem to be more aware of them now.) Of course, topping the list would be my 28-year-old cousin’s suicide. Then, I read a news piece about a mother and her two little girls who were killed when flash flood waters engulfed their mini-van while they headed home after having lunch with Daddy. Most recently, Desire author Sandra Hyatt died while attending an RWA conference in New Zealand. She was a young, vibrant wife and mother.


I complain…a lot. Some people would be surprised to hear that, but I do. I complain in my head. I can’t write because the kids are too loud. I can’t write because I’m tired. I can’t write because there’s so much to do around the house. I can’t write fiction because I have non-fiction work.

The list is endless.

While I’m usually able to push through the excuses and write something, there’s this hollowness when I’m finished with the words. I’ve been writing for weeks (since the suicide really) without a rush, without an underlying buzz and excitement about what I’m doing. I’m just going through the motions, and in the process I’m disrespecting each one of those people who are no longer with us.

I can only imagine what my cousin could do if he were given back a strong, healthy body that wasn’t marred by surgeries and concussions. I can only imagine what the mother of those two little girls would be doing with another sunny day. I can only imagine what Sandra would be writing and planning if she had more time.

Well, I have a strong, healthy body. I have another sunny day. I have more time.

I’m done complaining.

The road is long, but I’m on it. And I’m blessed.


4 Responses to “Writing with a Grateful Heart”

  1. Joanne Robinson Says:

    I’m with you on this one!

  2. LD Says:

    So sorry to hear about your cousin’s passing. Equally unfortunate are the other two incidents that you write about here. Yes, it is sobering…and like you, I’m reminded to be grateful for the gift of life and the abilty to live my dream, which is writing. Thanks Elley for remnding me of this.


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