Saturday, May 8, 2021

How Being Grateful Helps Us Be Better Writers

by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

I’m sitting down to write this blog post on Wednesday, May 5, which just happens to be my birthday.

I’ve developed a tradition for my birthday: Throughout the day, I take time to count my blessings. I think about all the reasons I have to be grateful—often people come to mind, as well as events from the past year. I’ve found it to be the best way to celebrate my birthday.

Through the years, I’ve also come to realize that gratitude is a vital character-quality for writers.

More than once, I’ve told my husband, “I’m not cut out for this writing gig.” Usually I utter these words when I’m frustrated with my writing or discouraged about my progress or just plain exhausted. 

My expectations send my emotions on an unwanted roller coaster ride. 
  • I should be achieving more. 
  • I should be doing what some other writer is doing. (Comparison trap, I know.) 
  • I should have (fill in the blank) books published by now. 
The best way I’ve found to overcome disappointment and discouragement and yes, to climb out of the comparison trap? Gratitude. Focus on the good. Focus on what you have. Who you have. Starting small is absolutely okay.

Be thankful for:
  • Progress. Any and all progress in our writing. Sometimes forward motion in our writing is slow, uneven, we’re-the-tortoises-and-everyone-else-are-hares kind of progress. It counts.
  • Opportunities. To dream. To brainstorm with writer-friends. To attend conferences, in-person or virtually. To enter contests, even if we don’t final or win. Let’s celebrate taking chances!
  • People. There are the people who “get” us—our writing community. The people who mentor and teach us. The people who support us even though they don’t love the rhythm and rhyme of words like we do. 
  • Creativity. We are creatives and that is a special gift … a beautiful opportunity to reflect God to the world. We should start each day thanking God for this. 
What are you thankful for today?


Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Having authored nine contemporary romance novels and novellas, The Best We’ve Been, the final book in Beth’s Thatcher Sisters Series with Tyndale House Publishers, releasers May 2020. Other books in the women’s fiction series include Things I Never Told You, which won the 2019 AWSA Award for Contemporary Novel of the Year, and Moments We Forget. Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Learn How to Write a Novel and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers group and mentoring other writers. Visit Beth at


  1. Thank you for this writing this morning. It was just what I needed to get over myself and keep moving forward. I am grateful.

  2. I must be more grateful! Thank you Beth for making me aware. And thanks for this helpful blog this morning.

    1. Diane: Gratitude has changed my mindset over the years. I'm glad today's post encouraged you.

  3. Beth,

    Thank you for these wonderful reminders about the importance of gratitude. Several years ago, someone suggested that I create a gratitude journal. I resisted at first because I am not a journal type of person--never in all my decades as a writer. But I went ahead and started. I've been keeping this gratitude journal and using it daily for several years-an important part of my early-in-the-day routine.

    author of 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed

    1. Terry: Those gratitude journals are precious keepsakes for you. Do you ever go back and read through them?

  4. Loved this post, Beth. When we are grateful, we have opened our hearts to His best for us, because we have chosen to trust Him. And how vital is that to someone who writes His truth? May we always write from a place of understanding His goodness and His desire for those He loves.

    1. So well said, Julie. "May we always write from a place of understanding His goodness and His desire for those He loves."

  5. Happy birthday, Beth, and thank you for the reminders. I have been falling into the discouraged category more often lately, but have much to be thankful for.

    1. Thanks, Michelle, it's been a wonderful birthday week, filled with many reasons to be grateful.

  6. Happy birthday, and thank you for this lovely post, Beth. One more thing we writers can be thankful for: we live in a time and place when publishing a book has never been easier.

  7. My friend shared your site with me, as I am a new writer. There is so much content here that speaks to me in menaful ways. Thank you!