How great is it being a writer? Sure, there are downsides. Rejection. Revision. Poverty. And so on.
But all in all, writers are a privileged bunch. We get to write! We get to “live and move and have our being” among words, sentences, magazines, blogs, and books. We know how to use semicolons and apostrophes (well; some of us’ do anyway). We sometimes even experience the joy of knowing someone has read, maybe even been blessed, by our words. What could be better, right?
That said, however, some of us struggle to be grateful writers. We moan. We cry. We threaten to quit. But the writing life is so much more enjoyable—and effective, I would argue—for grateful writers, even if gratitude doesn’t come easily or naturally amid all the struggles and stresses we endure (wiping away a tear as I type).
So, in the spirit of the season, let me briefly suggest four great ways to be a grateful (or more grateful) writer:
Express your gratitude.
If anyone should be good at writing thank-you notes, it should be a writer, right? Of course, right. Calls and emails work too. But make it a regular practice—perhaps even schedule it in your calendar or “to do” app—to thank critique partners, editors, agents, writers group leaders, and conference presenters who have been kind or helpful to you.
Boost other writers.
I’ve occasionally said at Christian writers conferences that we’re all in this together; we’re not competitors as Christian writers, we’re co-laborers, with God and with other writers. So one great way to be a grateful writer is to praise and encourage other writers. Recommend, rate, and review their books. And thank those who’ve done that for you.
Build or join a community.
Are you part of a critique group? Book club? Online network? A grateful writer contributes to a community of like-minded souls, giving (and receiving) companionship, inspiration, and encouragement.
Appreciate your readers.
It’s such an honor to write something that others read—whether in a church newsletter, a newspaper column, an article, a blog post, a book, or something else. So when you meet or hear from someone who’s read your words, even if they’re correcting or criticizing, be grateful. Respond respectfully to their perspective. Reply to their comment. Thank them for reading.
These are only four ways to be a grateful writer. I’m sure you can add many more in the comments. So thank you for reading and commenting and sharing, etc. (See what I did there? Go thou and do likewise. Amen.)