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Gratitude for Writers

Advanced tips for writers

Gratitude for writers

During the pandemic, a gratitude practice has really kept me going. In particular it was Tara Brach’s gratitude meditations that helped and sent me on a journey of discovery. Here I’ll share some of what I found out. So what is a gratitude practice and how does it work?

What is gratitude?

Let’s start with what it’s not! Gratitude is not an excuse or reason to put up with less that optimal circumstances. It’s not a form of relentless positivity either. Neither do you have to buy a gratitude journal or anything in particular in order to develop your own gratitude practice. All of these things can put writers off the whole concept of gratitude but it’s so important I wanted to set the record straight.

Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at what gratitude is. Gratitude is:

  • an appreciation of what’s around you and what you have,
  • about paying attention to the present moment,
  • about small things as well as big ones

How to do it

I’m often telling my writing students to stop at certain points in the day and notice things, because powers of observation are SO IMPORTANT when you’re writing and because mindfulness makes you notice the detail others miss – another key ingredient in the secret sauce that makes writing go from good to amazing.

There’s another reason to pause, and that’s for gratitude. Try it. Look around you now and decide what you’re grateful for:

  • I’m grateful for those white flowers,
  • I’m grateful for my computer,
  • I’m grateful for that flower pot.

Keep going! You can do this on walks too – the benefit there being that you’re moving so you have a continuous supply of things to be grateful for. This is also an amazing way of getting back to sleep if you tend to wake up in the middle of the night worrying. Simply list what you’re grateful for.

Why writers need a gratitude practice 

Gratitude is a writing super power because it changes your mindset and rewires your brain. The more you repeat the practice, the more it shifts you away from a negative and complaining mindset towards a calmer more peaceful state of mind, one in which you’re in control of how you feel about the world. External influences, like a rejection or a bad review, don’t matter as much, and the good things, the acceptances, prizes and positive reviews, don’t cause us as much anxiety either.


  • Tara Brach did a series of talks and meditations (8 in total I think) during the first stage of the pandemic called Sheltering in Love. Search for them on her podcast or on her website. Searching for ‘gratitude’ on her website also brings up several free meditations.
  • Jeff Warren has a 10 min gratitude practice that you can do before sleep on the (premium) 10% Happier App. which I like but for the purpose of sharing free resources, here’s his website.
  • On YouTube, you can find Marisa Peer’s 15 min gratitude meditation
  • Edit: the new edition of my book on goal setting and time management, includes resources on the power of gratitude. Read an extract from the book here.

Let me know about any gratitude resources you’ve found useful in the comments.

Want more?

I’m developing a free course called Gratitude for Writers. If you’d like to know more, sign up to my mailing list and I’ll send you details when it’s ready.

More soon. Until then, happy writing,

Lou xx


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