I’m happy to welcome writer and writing coach Mariëlle S. Smith. Today, Mariëlle shares her creative journey and new release, 365 Days of Gratitude Journal.
1. What was your inspiration for this book?
The true inspiration behind the 365 Days of Gratitude Journal series was having found a practice that really worked for me and wanting to share it with others so they could reap its benefits too. The inspiration behind this specific volume was wanting to create a more ‘feminine’ version, one that had a different kind of beauty than the more stylish and ‘clean’ first volume.
Basically, I wanted to create something that would make everyone, especially my mother, go ‘Ooooh, pretty!’
2. Describe your writing space.
I just moved six weeks ago and now I finally have a separate office again instead of having a giant desk taking up a too tiny corner of the bedroom!
Aside that desk, which is one of those desks that can adjust in height, I have a Deskbike to make sure I keep moving during the many hours I spend looking at my laptop screen. It’s like a stationary bike without a steering wheel, so that it fits under your desk and you can type as you cycle.
The room includes a built-in wardrobe, on which I’ve created a personalised Kanban board with rainbow-coloured washi tape, and I use the long wall as a place to stick my ideas when I’m plotting/figuring out my next book. Right now, it’s covered with index cards for my upcoming book, 99 Writing Prompts and Journal Exercises to Cultivate Courage and Kick Imposter Syndrome to the Curb. Since that takes up quite a bit of space, all my novel ideas have been relocated to the back of the door for now.
3. What is your favorite quote?
That’s a tough one, since collecting really good quotes is part of my job…
I’ll have to go with this one by Brené Brown, which is one of the first things I put up in my new office:
‘No matter what gets done and how much is done and how it’s done, I’m enough.’
The full quote is ‘No matter what gets done and how much is done and how it’s done, I’m enough and I’m worthy of belonging and love and joy’, but that’s the part that’s often quoted and the part I put up where I can see it when sitting at my desk.
4. Any advice for aspiring writers?
Write the story that’s in your heart.
It never hurts to understand the genre you’re writing in because it’ll help you tweak your story to fit the market and reader expectations better. However, I’ve coached too many writers who got so caught up in what others told them to write, they lost touch with why they started writing that story to begin with.
I’m all for learning from others because it’ll help you grow as a storyteller, but, in the end, once you’ve absorbed all that knowledge, you have to make it your own and trust your own vision.
It’s really about learning how to differentiate between the right and wrong kind of advice for you and your specific situation. And that can take a while. I still find myself leaning towards the wrong advice, but I’ve become much faster at recognising that something isn’t for me.
5. What are you working on next?
I’m in the middle of preparing a Kickstarter campaign for my new book, 99 Writing Prompts and Journal Exercises to Cultivate Courage and Kick Imposter Syndrome to the Curb, and its companion card deck, Cards for Creative Courage.
The book will include the 99 prompts and exercises from my 52 Weeks of Writing series that speak to dealing with our fears and our feelings of not-good-enoughness and that will help you develop a stronger author mindset.
Card for Creative Courage includes 52 inspiring messages that will help any creative person, whether they write, paint, quilt, bake, sing, to listen to their heart, not their fears, and choose courage every time.
This is the first card deck I’ve ever created and it’s going to be exclusive to Kickstarter, so I’m really curious to see how the campaign will go once it launches, which will be… somewhere in October if all goes according to plan.
‘The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.’ Mary Davis
*** Now available in black-and-white AND full colour! ***
Gratitude is not just about ATTITUDE.
Gratitude is about PRACTICE.
But how do you create a gratitude practice that sticks?
After the success of her first 365 Days of Gratitude Journal, writing coach Mariëlle S. Smith brings you Volume 2. Same journal but with an entirely different look!
After years of barely surviving her own emotional minefield, Mariëlle discovered the transformative power of practising gratitude. But, like no one else, she knows that cultivating an attitude of gratitude is easier said than done.
365 Days of Gratitude, Vol. 2 is an undated, guided journal. Complete with inspiring quotes, daily prompts, and recurring check-ins, it was designed to help you create a sustainable gratitude practice too.
Commit to the life-changing power of gratitude today and order your copy now!
Gratitude journaling brings me so much. It slows me down. It reminds me to take deep breaths in and out. It stops me from pushing myself too hard, too often. It brings me joy. Happiness. Appreciation. It reminds me of all I have going for me, no matter the kind of day it’s been.
It really has been the key I was looking and ready for when it showed up in my life.
But, even now, after years of practice, I have to consciously decide to do the work. That it came at the right time and with the structure I needed doesn’t mean I don’t get off track, especially when the going gets tough.
I used to become angry and utterly frustrated with myself when this happened, but now I simply sit myself down (read: force myself to take a break) and return to my practice. And because it’s such a simple, structured practice, it’s easier to pick up again than I often think.
Of course, some days or even weeks will be easier than others, but that’s another thing gratitude journaling has brought me. No matter how far I stray, I am grateful for having something to return to. For all the days I ignore my practice, I’m grateful for all the days I do pick up my journal and let the miracle that is life unfold in front of me.
All purchase links can be found here.
Author Bio and Links
Mariëlle S. Smith is a writer, writing coach, and editor. She lives in Cyprus, where she organises private writer’s retreats, is inspired 24/7, and feeds more stray cats than she can count.
Mariëlle S. Smith will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.
Follow Mariëlle on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.