Writer's moments

I Believe…

…in the spiritual precepts of Simple Abundance. You may know Sara Ban Breathnach’s timeless Daybook of Comfort and Joy that was published in the mid-1990s. It is my go-to book when I need to rediscover my own spirituality. Her truths are just as valid today as they were 17 years ago, and every other year, I take up my now-battered copy of the book and reread the meditations—starting on January 1 and reading one each day. I love finding notes that I’ve scribbled in the margins and excerpts I’ve highlighted—ah-ha moments from past years.

The six principles of Simple Abundance are gratitude, simplicity, order, harmony, beauty, and joy.  Sara calls them the “Six Graces,” and she takes each one and spends two months exploring it, talking about ways to achieve those ideals in your life. At one point she writes,

“Learning to live in the present moment is a part of the path of joy.”

Wow, what a concept! I need those words right now. I need to take them to myself, take them into my heart and my soul. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been absorbed in book sales and watching my name creep up the Top Sellers list on my publisher’s website, fuming when it drops back a notch or two, doing a happy dance when it’s back up again. This week, I’ve put the book out for reviews, so there’s something else I can fret over. The stress and worry has prevented me from writing. How ironic is that? Finally being published gave me writer’s block.

But, today, I made a conscious decision to stop stewing and obsessively checking my position on the list. I’m letting go of book-release stressing. It’s not serving me and besides doing sensible promotion, I can’t in any way control what happens with this novel. I’ve had several people contact me to tell me they read it and loved it. Those words warmed my heart and reminded me why I wrote the book in the first place. Because I love to write.

So, I’m getting back to the joy of writing. Back to listening to the people in my head and weaving stories about them. Back to the creative process. Back to the here and now. No more worry about what I might have done differently with the book that’s already out there, and no more vexed and anxious thoughts about how the book is selling and whether or not people will like it.

Instead, now, I’m going to revel in the wondrous fact that I wrote a book and it’s been published. I’m going to rejoice in the knowledge that I’ve finished two others, have a fourth in progress, and a long line of characters in my imagination waiting for their stories to be told. I’m going to be grateful for my critique partners who are teaching me daily how to be a better writer.

I have a grandchild on the way, people who love me, summer is coming, and I am a great writer. I am blessed. So, I’m staying in the present—I’m opting for the joy  of now…2012 is the year for me to celebrate the Simple Abundance in my life.



  • Nan

    Roben, Thanks! I’m deeply honored that London would confuse me with you! That’s a high compliment!

    Mary Stella, I think you’d find Sara’s work really applicable right now–find Simple Abundance and read through until the current date…so worth it!

  • Mary Stella

    Sara’s gratitude journal concept helped me immeasurably during my mother’s terminal illness and eventual death. I never thought about rereading her work since to apply it to life today. Thanks for your reminder.