Monday, June 11, 2012

WSG 14: Daily Attitude

Writer's Survival Guide 14: Daily Attitude

The writers I know excel at using their imaginations, and I'm no exception. We fantasize about the future--the exciting days of selling our books, getting fabulous reviews, and having a career doing what we love best.

daily grind
Photo by *CQ*

We're so good at this inner life that the reality of daily life can disappoint. Month after month, year after year, we push ourselves to write, revise, submit and be active on social media. Often, the fantasy of our future keeps us going. Most of the time, our passion for writing is what sustains us. But at some point, we all have to deal with the daily grind.

Published, aspiring, almost there--it doesn't matter--it hits us that this is our job. Jobs have perks and they have downsides. That's why it's so important to nurture a positive daily attitude.

Every morning I start my day by reading a chapter of the Bible and a short devotion. I then practice gratitude for a new day. Yes, I'm even thankful for Mondays! Waking up grateful (even when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed, we can choose to be grateful) makes a big difference in my life.

It's too easy to let our insecurities, fears, and even just general ho-hum-ness of the same-old, same-old affect our positivity. But we really must stay positive and joyful, or we can get envious, bitter, and burned out.

I often ask myself why I do this? And every time I'm transported back to my bedroom when I was a teenager. Books changed my view on life, but being a "real writer" seemed so out-of-the-realm to me at the time. Then I remember how I quit my job before our first child was born and declared I was going to be a writer and that was going to be my career. I look back to all of the little acts of courage I've taken to get to this point and I laugh at how anyone could ever think of writing as a chore! It's a good reminder to me when I'm feeling flat.

How do you maintain a positive daily attitude? Please share!

Have a lovely Monday!


  1. Jill, I couldn't agree more! I like to get up for daily study/prayer time and that always helps me. I also like to listen to some good music! :)

    Happy Monday, back.

    1. On the rare days I skip the Bible reading and devotion, it never fails that I'll end up rushing around in stressed-out mode within a few hours!

      Good music is a great attitude adjustor!!

  2. Thanks so much for this much-needed reminder, Jill!

    The best way I know how to keep a positive attitude is to preach truth to myself. When I'm feeling down or discontented or tempted to think that writing is EVERYTHING, I remind myself of what God's already done for me and what I am worth in His eyes. That usually sets me back on track. :)

  3. Such a good reminder that a positive attitude goes a long way. I need that reminder, especially because I'm NOT at the point where I can wake up and write all day. I dream of that day. But it's a ways off. For now, I've got to fit writing in on lunch breaks and after my day job. It can be hard sometimes, the waiting. But God has me here, now, for a reason. Thanks for the reminder to be grateful for that!

  4. Great reminder about positive attitude, Jill. It's something I struggle with, because pessimism comes naturally to me. However, being part of the online writing community has made a big difference. I'd love to have the time to write all day, and when my daughter is in school, I can get in five hours or more. But right now, it's been a struggle, and I've been cranky. I need to remember to be grateful to have my miracle child nagging at me.

  5. What a wonderful post. You're so right that anything can become a bit of a grind. On days where I'm struggling, I try to remind myself how lucky I am to have something I love -- and to be doing it!

  6. I kick myself in the butt and remind myself how short my time is here--how I have a specific and important role to play so I better get to it. And then I remind myself to let go and let go and let go.
    ~ Wendy

  7. I'm generally an optimist, so this is pretty easy for me. :)

  8. I try to include a little bit of everything important to me in each day. Time with family, time with hubby, writing time, etc., and remind myself how blessed I am!

  9. This is so good and so important, Jill. I have to start my day with quiet time with God...otherwise, I'm just not anybody's favorite person. Like others have mentioned, I'm not yet at the season in life when I can write fulltime. I'm squeezing pursuit of that dream in between my day job...and that's not always the most easy to place to be. But there are a bazillion reasons to be thankful for my cool day job AND for the fun of pursuing my dream in the off hours. In the ministry I work for, I see sooo many men and women who have given up on any dream for themselves at all...that reminds me to be thankful.

  10. Jill: I try to practice the same habits. I even started a 'Blessings List' in my journal. God allows my days to go better when I start them with Him.

  11. I'm seeing a lot of comments about writing all day. I don't know anyone who has that luxury! Not even me! I am blessed with time to write while the kids are at school, but afternoons and weeknights are very busy for and I have little free time. Bottom line: Whether you have a full time job, a part time job, or you're staying home with your kids, you have to find ways to squeeze writing in!

  12. I ask God to walk through those dark valleys of doubt with me. The writing, and everything that goes with it, isn't always easy. We put so much pressure on ourselves that we forget to just do what we love and enjoy it.

    Great post, Jill.

  13. I practice constant self-deception ;) Actually I find comfort in the littlest of things, how proud my family is of me, making a nice meal, a particularly satisfying day writing. I also know that this is something I've chosen and I feel lucky to be able to spend so much time pursuing it.

  14. Lately, I have been trying to have a good or great day no matter what is on my to do list. That way, whether I'm working or playing, something is sure to be interesting. That little "pretend" has helped me to offer my services more and to actually enjoy it more.

  15. I always think of a worse scenario than mine. And then I thank God for my blessings. Everyone has tough situations to go through. I'm no exception. If it does get too much for me...I pray for strength.

  16. I love fellowshipping with family and friends. I love listening to a great message of faith. I try hard to find quiet time in my day to spend with the Lord, but I'm not always successful at it. I need to connect with my hubby every day - even if it's just a few moments before bed, we need that time to talk and dream together. For me, staying upbeat and positive is all about my relationships.

  17. Perfect timing, Jill! Definitely having a crisis of confidence today! Thanks for the fab reminders! I am so impressed with how you manage to do this everyday, and keep the faith.


  18. Recently, I began to stop and name my blessings. I have so much, that I have no reason to bellyache. And my "mountains" are only speedbumps when compared to others.

  19. Oh, yes!! Counting our blessings, being grateful, isn't that the difference?? You all are geniuses!

    Thank you SO much for stopping by!

  20. I remind myself that there's nothing as satisfying (for me) as writing something I end the day by being pleased with. And knowing that under other circumstances I could be commuting to a job that was boring and stressful! So, yes - blessings definitely counted.


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