Friday, May 9, 2014

My Writerly Gratitude List

by Susanna Ives

On dismal writing days, as my poor, loyal computer is taking the brunt of my cursing and key pounding, I remind myself to stop and list the things I’m grateful for in my creative life. According to research, a gratitude list is supposed to make you feel better.  On the top of my list are the talented, thoughtful and generous writers that I’ve had the luck to befriend along the way. It’s such a privilege to be able to read their work.  The closer I am to a writer, the more I enjoy inhabiting the worlds they’ve created in their minds. I “see” them in their work.  I love their characters and stories as if I were a godparent to their literary children. After having to stare at my own words for hours, rearranging them, cursing at them, or deleting them, I find it a joy to lose myself in another’s work.

Sholes and Glidden typewriter 1872

Last month, I had the opportunity to read my friend Tina Whittle’s upcoming mystery. Every day I emailed her, quoting more awesomeness from her book – those stunning passages that made my heart flip, shudder, or plummet. 

My talented friend Catriona Scott is so cruel to me. She sends a new scene from her fantastic WIP every week or so, letting me fall deeper in love with her hero and then leaving me ravenous to know what happens next. It’s rude to ask someone to drop all their personal responsibilities and finish their story just for little ‘ole me, but I must know how it all ends!

Last week I read Theresa Romain’s new release To Charm a Naughty CountessTheresa has that enviable talent of letting the reader sink into her luscious Regency world. Her prose is just dazzling, vivid and flowing. As a writer, I find her work so inspiring. This is the lovely story of Caroline, who deserves a strong and kind man. She finds it in her old suitor, Michael, a duke whom everyone assumes is mad based on his terse, scientific manner of dealing with society. Theresa really digs deep into the characters, scooping out their pain and transforming it. Her books are wonderful emotional journeys.

Now I’m feeling better. This gratitude list idea works! Which writers would be on your list? 


  1. Susanna,
    I love your sense of humor. But can I just say I'm glad I don't have to write in a bustle? Yay for yoga pants! You offer a great list there. Kathleen Woodiwiss makes my list as does Josie Litton (Viking romance pseudonym for Maura Seger). I wish Maura would resurrect Josie. There's lots more but those two come to mind quickly.

  2. Yes, yay for yoga pants! I would "burst a stay-lace" daily if I had to write in a corset. BTW- "Burst her stay-lace – A sudden bust-heaving feminine indignation, which might even literally, and certainly does figuratively, bring about this catastrophe."

  3. Nice post! Gratitude really makes a difference.

  4. Great post! I'd say Julie Garwood, Elizabeth Essex, Theresa Romain (mine too), Vanessa Kelly, Kristan Higgins...I could keep going!