Write Now: On Gratitude

One of the great ironies of living in 2018 is that we celebrate a day of gratitude and thankfulness on the day immediately preceding the biggest shopping day of the year. In one moment we’re grateful for all we have: our families, our friends, and our good fortune that we can all be together; In the next moment, we’re trying to find deals on superfluous stuff.

Alas …

So much of the freelance writing life (or, simplifying, the writing life) comes from our examination of our internal and external worlds. Writers live twice, they say, once in the moment and another in reflection. This idea that we probably spend a little more time in reflection than most people is accurate. The ticks of a clock spent overthinking a sentence or an event certainly add up over the course of a calendar year.

At the same time, writing — while a passion for most of us — is also a business, so there’s a good amount of reflection is impersonal and practical: “Okay, how many words do I have written?” “Did I respond to that e-mail?” “Why isn’t this person responding to my pitch?” “Did I invoice for that story yet?” “What can I work on next?” It’s a necessary mindset. We have to be mindful of these things even when they drive to us stress-induced [insert your vice here: nail-biting, eating, drinking, etc.]. Writers, while idealistic on the exterior (think: responses at parties. “Yup, just doing what I love”), can also claim a difficult relationship to their profession internally.

But, like others, I like to reflect around the holidays. There are years when Santa’s sleigh will deliver more presents than other years, but there’s still so much to be thankful for. Whether that’s simply a roof and warmth, the most royal of all holiday bounties for the kiddos, or somewhere in between, let’s all pause and express our gratitude.

For what do you express your thankfulness?

Happy Thanksgiving. See you Monday morning.

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