by Bryan Patrick Avery
Well, this year has flown by. It’s already November, which mean that Thanksgiving is coming. While I’m not a fan of the historical context of the holiday, I do like the idea of setting aside some time to give thanks for the many blessing in my life. One of those blessings is my writing career.
This month, I’d like to share with you an exercise in gratitude, especially for writers. Writing is a difficult undertaking. It involves a lot of rejection and uncertainty. Giving thanks can help you look back at the past year and find the positive moments that will serve as the motivation to keep going. Each of these questions is focused on a different aspect of writing so try to answer them all.
1. What accomplishment are you most thankful for?
It can be easy, sometimes, to gloss over what we’ve accomplished. Take a moment and think about what you’ve accomplished this year.
2. What challenge or adversity have you encountered that you are most thankful for?
Why be thankful for a challenge or adversity? Facing or overcoming challenges is a part of life. When we don’t let them stop us from moving forward, we win.
3. Name an author whom you are thankful.
So many authors (myself included) have relied on the kindness and support of other authors as they’ve built their careers. Remembering to be thankful for those who’ve helped us also reminds us to help others.
4. Name someone in the publishing industry (other than an author) for whom you are thankful.
Just like we get help from other authors, we can get help from industry professionals like agents, editors, etc. Whether you’re traditionally published, self-published, or pre-published, I’m guessing you can think of at least one agent or editor who has provided guidance, insight, or encouragement.
5. What is something you are thankful you said “yes” to?
Saying yes might take you out of your comfort zone but that can help you develop. Have you said yes to something that really brought you joy or a new opportunity?
6. What is something you are thankful you said “no” to?
Just like there’s value in saying “yes”, there’s also value in saying “no”. We can’t do everything and trying to do everything can be detrimental to our physical and mental health. Give yourself credit for saying “no” once in a while.
7. What idea or inspiration are you thankful for?
Ideas are what make the world go ‘round for writers. What’s that one idea or brainstorm you had this year that really got you excited? Note it and remember the feeling it give you. It will help you recognize (and appreciate) other brainstorms like it in the future.
Well, that’s my thanksgiving list for writers. I hope you find it helpful. Grab some paper and start making your list. I’d love to see some of your answers in the comments.
That’s all for this month. Happy writing and have a magical month!
At the age of 7, Bryan Patrick Avery discovered a love of reading and mysteries after receiving his first Bobbsey Twins Mystery Book. Today, he is an award-winning poet and author of books for children. His middle-grade story, “The Magic Day Mystery”, appears in SUPER PUZZLETASTIC MYSTERIES, an anthology from HarperCollins and the Mystery Writers of America. His debut picture book, THE FREEMAN FIELD PHOTOGRAPH, illustrated by Jerome White, was published by Clearfork Publishing/Spork. His early reader series, MR. GRIZLEY’S CLASS, illustrated by Arief Putra, is available now from Picture Window Press. He is the 2021 recipient of the SCBWI Work in Progress Award for his chapter book mystery THE ROBOT IN THE LIBRARY.
Bryan serves on the board of directors of the Northern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is a 2021 Amplify Black Stories Fellow, a joint program presented by the Brown Bookshelf and the Highlights Foundation. Bryan lives in Northern California with his family.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome Aussie debut author and former student Amanda Lieber who will be focusing on Aussie kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature STEM, STEAM & SEL obsessed author Kourtney LaFavre sharing delightfully dorky, quirky, and fun info.
4th Mondays will be a mystery for right now.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break