By W. Terry Whalin
During this season, we find many articles about thankfulness and gratitude. From my many years in publishing, I contend writers need gratitude or thankfulness throughout the year and not just around Thanksgiving.
The world of writing is full of challenges. You craft a query letter or book proposal and fire it off to a editor who has asked for it—and then you hear nothing. You wonder if they got it or if they hated it or what happened? Then you get a letter from a reader complaining about the typos in your most recent book. Or your phone seems to be acting strange.
Let’s face it: every writer faces problems and things they that don't work—for many different reasons. In the midst of these situations there is one constant that the writer can control: your attitude. Do you lean into the challenges and work on something different? Or do you face the day with gratitude and thankfulness?
I’ve not always been a proponent of gratitude and looking at the glass as half full instead of half empty. In fact, I’ve been working on my attitude and trying to center on gratitude every day.
A couple of months ago, Darren Hardy challenged listeners to his Darren Daily program that there were only 90 days until Thanksgiving. He suggested we keep a Thankful Journal about a friend or spouse. He asked us to write in that journal every day until Thanksgiving and then give it to the person on the holiday.
I’m not much of a journal keeper. I know many writers who journal but I never developed this habit. At the encouragement of Darren Hardy, I tried this Thanks Journal and have been faithfully writing in it every day. The results have been fascinating to me. Every day I’ve focused on gratitude and something I appreciate then wrote into this journal. If nothing else, it has spun my thoughts and attitude in the direction of gratitude. In a few days, I’m going to this journal to the person in few days. I plan to continue this pattern with a gratitude journal because I’ve found this process has been a significant help to my gratitude attitude.
Within the publishing world, there is much outside of the writer’s control. The one area you can control is your attitude. If you are grateful and thankful, that attitude will shine through to others. You will become someone who is attractive to others rather than someone always grumbling about this or that.
From my years in publishing, I’ve seen how the grumbler and complainers are perceived. The editors and agents may smile, treat you kindly and answer your complaints, but behind the scenes they are talking with their colleagues about how these complaints simply spread the poison to others. When these writers do not get encouraged to do another book, they wonder why. I would contend it comes down to attitude. Is your attitude attractive to others or repelling? If you are grumbling and repelling, then I encourage you to turn to gratitude and thankfulness and let it carry you all year long—not just on one day called Thanksgiving.
Let me know the steps you are taking for this attitude of thankfulness in the comments below.
Writers need gratitude all year long. Read this article to learn the reasons. (ClickToTweet)
W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing (and his work contact info is at the bottom of the second page). He has written more than 60 books including Book Proposals That $ell and Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. Terry has written for more than 50 magazines and lives in Colorado. He has over 200,000 twitter followers.