Reflections on healing trauma, writing, and books by Tokyo-based memoirist
I Think Gratitude Still Works

I Think Gratitude Still Works

I’m feeling a little down today. Maybe a little overwhelmed. I listened to the beginning of Brene Brown on Tim Ferris’ podcast and they talked about finding the balance between self-acceptance and achievement. Conceptually, I don’t really struggle with this, but sometimes, I struggle with it practically. Like, this blog. I decided to set a goal of writing every day, but I have other priorities today. I tend to operate better without a lot of pressure, but goal-setting breeds pressure.

Ferris said that these things (self-acceptance and achievement) don’t exist on the same continuum. They are two separate entities. So, the only way to deal with it is to make room for both. He practices self-acceptance using the 5-minute journal. He’s mentioned the 5-minute journal a few times in other videos. I thought it was something that he made up, but it turns out that it’s an app.

I decided to get his book Tribe of Mentors. I’m not planning on reading it straight through. I thought it would be another good book to read a few minutes at a time between other things.

In his 5-minute journal, he lists three things that he’s grateful for each day. He says he tries to keep his points as specific as possible. In books on writing instruction, they say that universality is found in specificity.

So, I’ll give it a try:

  1. I’m grateful for the heater in my apartment because it is cold outside. The highs have been in the 40s (F) the past week or so, and they will continue that way for at least a month. I know that this is not nearly as cold as it gets in other places, but because in the summer here, the temperature can only be described as “molten lava” (in both C and F), I’m not used to cold weather.
  2. I’m grateful for the book Gotham Writer’s Workshop: Writing Fiction. I was reviewing it last night, and it really does contain a lot of useful information, especially in the section on how to revise. I’ve read so many writing books in the past few years. GWW was the first one I bought and it truly is one of the most useful.
  3. Speaking of which, I’m finally starting to feel like I’ve acquired enough knowledge that I can solely focus on writing without constantly learning, for now. As someone with a background in karate, dance, and other activities that are mostly about skill acquisition, I’ve learned that practice can actually hurt you if you practice the wrong way. Can you practice the wrong way as a writer? No, there isn’t a wrong way to write, but there are ways to practice that will help you improve faster.

Well, anyway, I have to get back to editing my story, and I’m planning on exercising later, so I can’t dawdle here.

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