It’s become tradition to blog my Thanksgiving gratitude list. Despite the challenges this year, I have much to be grateful for, especially this writing community.
I also want to acknowledge that some of my readers may be grieving. If that’s you, I hope your writing practice brings solace, sustenance and fulfillment, especially in this formidable time. May the sentiments herein expand your sense of community and support.
Here are a few things and people I’m grateful for:
- The health and well being of my family, including my beloved mother-in-law who made it through COVID-19.
- Living in a place where we can easily walk and enjoy nature, perhaps my greatest source of inspiration and creativity.
- The wonderful writers who join me two Thursdays a month to breathe, move and write together in “Get Your Writing Done.”
- The success of several clients’ books that have been published this fall: Dr. James Zender’s Recovering from Your Car Accident and Dr. Michelle Braun’s High Octane Brain, knowing what a difference these books are making in the world.
- My amazing friends, colleagues, clients, author-crushes and family who have joined me to create 30 inspiring videos for you that will come out January 20, with my book, The Joy of Writing Journal: Spark Your Creativity in 8 Minutes a Day.
- The enjoyment I’ve had in reconnecting with these friends and family as they share their beautiful energy in these short, fun videos.
Creating a Joyful Multimedia Reading and Writing Experience
To share my next appreciations, I need to give you a little background about my upcoming book. When the idea first sparked—to create a journal for writers, one that makes it easy and fun to write, and helps create a daily habit (in just 8 minutes a day!)—I immediately envisioned including videos. I’d recommended this media-rich feature to several clients and referred them to my colleague Tamara Monosoff who helped them incorporate the videos in their books through a QR code that can be scanned with a phone.
Having witnessed the power of video and audio meditations in Lisa Langer’s Deeper into Mindfulness and singer/songwriter Carrie Rowan’s Tell a New Story, I knew this tool could create a richly textured and fulfilling experience for readers/writers.
I felt that during COVID, with people feeling isolated, it would be so lovely to have an infusion of fun, inspiration, authentic expression and joy before writing. Something positive—yet brief—to get things going before responding to the journaling or writing prompt.
Fostering a Writing Community and Receiving a Gift in the Process
I envisioned my readers experiencing themselves as part of this community of people I love and admire, and who inspire me. These writers range from 20-something recent college grads who blog or journal, to first-time published authors, and several wildly successful novelists who’ve won some of the book world’s most prestigious awards. I wanted to create a continuum of writing experience, where you can find yourself at any point along the path and see colleagues, mentors and mentees.
What happened when I recorded the Zoom videos felt magical. I briefly interviewed local friends I hadn’t seen since COVID-19 hit, 20-something family members who’ve dispersed across the country and friends I hadn’t seen or spoken to in two decades (except by email).
I drew upon the joyful creative energy offered by my friends, family and colleagues as we produced these short, inspiring videos with you in mind.
Surprised and Revitalized
What happened next surprised me.
I hadn’t realized how connected it would make me feel to revisit and revitalize these relationships with my fellow writers. The sense of love and community grew as I recorded each video. I felt fuller and fuller as I continued to record these very short conversations with writers. And, of course, after the video we caught up a bit and reveled in each other’s creative successes and fulfillment.
I was also inspired by the way many friends said that the pandemic urged them to write and create with a newfound sense of purpose and urgency. It fueled their art.
Creating these videos recharged me in a way I had not expected.
Thank You to the Many Authors I Read this Year
These trying times have brought most of us to a profound appreciation for the things we took for granted. I feel a deeper sense of gratitude for the many writers in my life and the ways we support and enjoy one another.
I think too of the many novelists whose books have provided a whirlwind escape to other times and worlds. And to those authors writing about racial justice: you have provided a way to understand how we got here and how to begin to traverse this challenging territory in which we are invited to explore our biases, our responsibilities and new opportunities to be a force for change (within and without). Thank you to all authors for the service you have provided during this pandemic!
If you read last week’s blog post, you may remember that when I walked Stephanie Meyers through my Meet Your Muse guided visualization, she realized she’d let go of her gratitude practice after writing. When she reinstated that practice, she got her mojo back.
I invite you to comment and share anything you feel grateful for this season. And thank you for being a part of my vibrant community of writers.