Monday, June 16, 2008

On Gratitude by Karen Neches

Gratitude is a part of my everyday life. Every night before I go to sleep I inventory all of the positive things that happened to me during that day. Invariably it’s a long list and I usually conk out before I can think of all the great things that blew into my life that day.

It sounds like a corny practice but it really helps me to keep a cheery perspective. I used to be a woe-is-me kind of gal, complaining at every turn, poised to pounce at the smallest of slights.

It’s amazing how a simple thing like the practice of gratitude can change your whole attitude. The life of a writer isn’t for sissies. One day you get a rave review from Publishers Weekly, the next day you learn your last paperback sold about ten copies. If you don’t learn to count your blessings, your mind fills up with all the failures, until you start questioning your abilities, and wondering if you should change careers and sell shoes or wash cars.

Now, when something crummy happens to me, instead of immediately kvetching and hand-wringing, I just take the punch and move on. The everyday practice of gratitude has taught me that those irksome failures are just part of the process, just little potholes on the journey and I never, ever should take them seriously or let them distract me from where I’m going.

Karen Neches was single for over twenty years. She used to tell people she was in the “hospice stage” of being single as she never expected to recover. Then at the age of forty-three she finally met her soul mate. Her novel Earthly Pleasures is dedicated to him. She maintains a web site at

Neches also writes under the name Karin Gillespie and is the nationally bestselling author of The Sweet Potato Queen’s First Big-Ass Novel with Jill Conner Browne and three novels in the critically acclaimed Bottom Dollar Girl series. She’s founder of the forty author virtual tour The Girlfriend Circuit as well as the grog for Southern authors A Good Blog is Hard to Find. She is a former lifestyle columnist for the Augusta Chronicle.


Angie Ledbetter said...

You're so right about the change in attitude making life better. Thanks for sharing!

Barbara Quinn said...

Love the idea of listing the things you are grateful for each night. Much nicer than counting sheep! And finding your soulmate at 43 is inspirational.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I forget to do the "what am I grateful for during the day" thing at night - lately I've been doing the "I'm sending mind messages to agents ' read my stuff, you will read it and love it, you will call me and say you are sending me a contract and already have a publisher(s) in love virginia cant' get her out of your mind..."


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