Gratitude: It’s Worth More Than 13 Scrabble Points

thanks-1804597_1280This is the time of year when people talk about things they’re thankful for. Gratitude is a healthy thing, and it’s refreshing to hear people express it instead of whining.

Today, I’d like to comment on how thankful I am that I don’t have to earn my living by writing.

Yes, I enjoy writing, and I’m probably fairly competent at it. But earn a living at it? Ha! In order to make money, you have to actually market yourself. And your product. And I loathe, abhor, detest, despise, and abominate* marketing in any form. Besides that, I dislike it rather intensely.

Though I might phrase it a bit more passionately than most, the majority of my fellow-writers feel pretty much the same way. We’d rather write than do promotion. But if you want to sell books (or articles, or whatever you write), you have to let people know your work is available. And worth buying. And there’s no way to do that without putting a good bit of effort into it.

I sell a book now and then. I think since my first self-published book came out in 2014, there’s only been one month when I didn’t earn a few cents’ royalties. (And when I say “a few cents,” I mean that literally. There have been more months than I care to admit when my total month’s royalties for all four books have totaled under a dollar.) But I figure even if I sell only one ebook, that’s one new reader who might tell one or two others about the Gannah stories and/or buy another book in the series. In other words, though I can’t really call it progress, it’s better than paying people to take a book.
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So I’m thankful my husband has always been a good provider. His provision allows me the luxury of spending my time writing without having to stress over marketing.

Which is not to say I don’t do any marketing. Awhile back, I submitted The Story in the Stars to Rabid Reader Reviews, and they liked it. Though the review was published a few years ago, they recently tweeted about it, and I thought, “Hmmm, that was a good review, wasn’t it? Maybe I should remind people it’s out there.”

So, in case you care, hop on over to their site and check it out. And if you haven’t bought the book yet, treat yourself to a good read. If you have a Kindle, you can pick it up for a mere 99 cents, so you shouldn’t have to break into the kids’ piggy bank to afford it. And I’ll get a 34-cent royalty payment. We both win!

Thanks!

*apple-1603132_1280In case you’re curious, that heart-felt phrase is borrowed from a poem I loved as a kid. While you’re clicking on links, check it out too!

 

 

 

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Thursday’s Thoughts: Thanks 365

It’s Thanksgiving Day!

And I won’t wax eloquent about it. You’ve probably already heard/read just about all you care to about the historical myths and truths surrounding it, the traditions associated with it, and the proper handling of leftover turkey.

As I probably mentioned last year, we often see lengthy discussions of Thanksgiving that make no mention of giving thanks, or who we’re expected to give thanks to. But not all discussions leave that out; there’s plenty of talk about gratitude as well.

But is it like Christmas, where the holiday glow creates warm fuzzies of goodwill toward our fellowman for a time, but we soon start sniping and griping again?

I don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with complaining. It seems the more we have to be thankful for, the more we whine. I’d like to make my home today a “Gripe Free Zone,” allowing only gracious speech and thankfulness to pass the lips of all who enter. But I doubt my ability to enforce such a measure.

So instead of trying to press the rest of my family into a mold of my choosing, I’ll concentrate on conforming myself to it and let everyone else do as they choose. This is what I plan to do: today and every day for the next year, I’ll post to this blog on my newly-created “Thanks 365” page, one thing I’m thankful for.

I expect that at first, it’ll be difficult to limit myself to one per day. When I start listing my blessings, one thing leads to another until praises tumble out all over the place. But unless I miss my guess, sooner or later the flow of gratitude will slow and I’ll have to work at it. We’ll see how bubbling-over with thanksgiving I am a few months from now, when I’ve exhausted my standard praise list.

Have you ever read the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp? I hope to some day, but haven’t yet. I’ve heard a lot of good about it, and I like the concept. From what I’ve heard, it has a similar premise to what I propose today. I’m not copying Ann Voskamp’s idea or trying to build on what she’s started. But if you see this as a spin-off, that’s okay. Whatever gets us praising God instead of feeling sorry for ourselves.

So, you may well ask, what’s the first item on my list, the one thing I thank God for today? My cup is so full it’s hard to pour out a one-drop oblation, but here it is: I’m thankful God is leading me to appreciate the value of gratitude; I want it to take over my life.

The next time you hear me griping, remind me of that.

 

 

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Beauty

Beauty is subjective, certainly. But no matter how we define it, there’s a lot of junk out there that’s un-lovely by any account. That’s why, as both a writer and a reader, I strive for something a little above the mundane.

And that’s why, when I ran across this blog post today, I wanted to share it with you. It’s thought-provoking.

When my daily path intersects true beauty, how often am I too hurried or distracted to notice?

I used to be a big Sherlock Holmes fan. Haven’t read any of the stories for quite a few years, but I recall a statement in one of the tales that the Holmes character made to Watson. Pointing out that the function of a flower is merely reproduction, he observed that the beauty is a benefit God gave us people, not a necessity for the plant itself.

Beauty isn’t vital to physical life. Nevertheless, God was not only gracious enough to fill the world with it, but He’s given us the ability to create it on our own small scale, like children imitating what they see Daddy do.

Let’s take the time to enjoy the gifts He’s given us and thank Him for the privilege.

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