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How Gratefulness Can Improve Your Writing

gratefulnessIt’s amazing what happens when you have some gratefulness.

I woke up yesterday annoyed about a certain person in my life. I recognized I wasn’t being fair at all and I was close to  letting those feelings impinge on my whole day.

Fortunately I meditate most mornings and as I was sitting I realized I could look for a bit of gratefulness about this person.

It came to me that he’s kind, knowledgeable and supportive about an area of my life that seems particularly complicated.

As I had these thoughts I could feel my body begin to relax. I continued my mental list and came up with probably 10 things I could feel gratefulness around this person. It shifted my whole day from negative to positive.

Gratefulness helps words flow

I’m not sure why making a gratitude list helps writing, but it does, at least for me. There’s a ton of science to back up that statement. One example is How Gratitude Can Change Your Life by Dr. Rick Hanson. He’s got a whole list of  how a bit of gratefulness literally improves our lives, including:


  • Improving relationships
  • Getting better sleep
  • Improving our self-esteem

Heck even one of these might make it easier for us to write more fluidly and with confidence.

How to get grateful

Back in the day, talk of gratitude made me itchy. It felt forced and like I probably couldn’t match up – match up to what, I’m not sure. I simply became uncomfortable at the thought.

Then Oprah started talking about writing down 3 things we were grateful for every day. I grudgingly thought about three things maybe twice a week to start. Somehow I caught the fact that even that little bit reduced my grumbling about anything and everything. So I started to write them down.

Eventually someone suggested that if something happened and I wasn’t grateful about it I should stand there until I could be grateful. I’ve even came to be grateful for my migraines – after all, they kept me out of the normal work force for years. (I’m also grateful that a ketogenic diet has reduced my migraines significantly, but that’s another story.)

Writing gratitudes down works, so does counting them off on a set of rosary beads. Just sitting and making a mental list works. So does developing a habit of noticing when I’m out of sorts and looking for things to be grateful for… the methods are probably endless.

Try it and see if a touch of gratefulness doesn’t make it easier for you to write. Let us know what happens in comments.

You might also enjoy 9 Tips for Starting a Profitable Sustainable Freelance Writing Business

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman freelance writer


{ 11 comments… add one }
  • i always read your blog site article. Every Article is Helpful For Every Blogger. Anyone read this article and then improve their writing

  • Love the article Anne! It’s been a while. (don’t know if you still remember me haha!)

    I very much agree that being grateful is something that can improve your writing. I also noticed that there was something that you would probably agree with wholeheartedly too, but perhaps did not have enough room to mention it:

    Gratitude can also help your writing as it will clear up emotions such as complacency and laziness, two factors that I’m sure plague even the most experienced writers from time to time!

    I’ll give an example of what I mean! Currently one of my roles at the company I work for is in essence, providing content. The thing is, over the past couple months, I know I have definitely gotten a bit more complacent, lazy even. And I had almost forgotten this amazing opportunity that I’ve been given; to write every day for a living, something that I am really passionate about!

    And so I forgot all about this and in the end, took it for granted. In turn my quality of work dropped from the standards I SHOULD have been aiming for.

    So yeah haha, just wanted to add that little point! 🙂

    Thanks again Anne for the post, looking forward to reading more!!

  • I sometimes have to remind myself to be grateful, but it does help.

    Recently on top of regular life stuff I had some big pressing deadlines and trying to stay ahead of a flea infestation because my dog got fleas while on a prescription flea preventative (and I can’t switch to another one until next week, when her next dose would be due) which means constant cleaning and vacuuming and moping and laundry. Almost a full time job!

    Then my brother (who’s undergoing chemo for Hodgkins Lymphoma) landed in the hospital with a mild fever and low blood count, but thankfully he felt fine. He needed IV antibiotics and had to wait for his blood count to improve. He was bored. At the same time our sister’s upper back developed intense, unrelenting nerve pain. Being the only healthy sibling really flipped my perspective. As much as I dislike cleaning, I knew they’d both love to be able to get up and clean something.

    My brother has been released and is doing great. But our sister is still at home waiting for her EGM appointment (over a week away if she doesn’t make her way up the wait list) and hoping the pain starts to ebb soon.

    Yep. I may have deadlines and my dog might have fleas, but I’ve got it good.

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