Blog Entries
Make up the Fires, Bob Cratchit!
Category: Writing
Tags: A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens Scrooge Gratitude Writing Dianne Mackinnon


A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you for many a year! I'll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob! Make up the fires, and buy another coal-scuttle before you dot another i, Bob Cratchit.’

In one of the final paragraphs of ‘A Christmas Carol,’ Scrooge’s character is totally transformed. And what has changed, after his intercourse with three spirits? (Dickens’ words not mine!) Nothing has changed externally. He hasn’t suddenly become richer or acquired a lot of good friends. No, what he needed for a happier life was there all along, he just hadn’t realised it. His sense of lack; his meanness, permeated his life and made it a miserable one. Scrooge awakens with a new sense of generosity, abundance and perhaps above all, a sense of gratitude. As he opens his window on Christmas morning he rejoices, ‘Golden sunlight; Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. Oh, glorious. Glorious!’

Recently, I read a blog written by American writer, Dianne Mackinnon. It was about how instilling a sense of gratitude can turn you into a happier person. Something we Brits find hard. We’re more comfortable grumbling and groaning like Scrooge. Being too happy goes against the grain and smacks of blowing one’s own trumpet.

Focusing on gratitude can actually improve your day and your mood. Studies have shown that making a gratitude list, even in your head, before going to bed, gives people more and better sleep. Dianne also provided a gratitude exercise, especially for writers. I recommend you either print this out and fill in the blanks, as quick as you can, or write the answers in your journal as you read through the exercise. Blow your own trumpet and revel in it! Here are my answers:

Writer’s List of Gratitude

Three books I’m grateful were written, so that I could read them

My list:

1.              The Silver Brumby, by Elyne Mitchell

2.              Far From the Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy

3.              Birdsong, by Sebastian Faulks

Your turn:

1.              ___________________________________________________________

2.              ___________________________________________________________

3.              ___________________________________________________________

Three People/Groups Who Support Me As A Writer

My list:

1.              My husband

2.              Writers Abroad and Amsterdam writing group 

3.              My coach at Grow with the Flow

Your turn:

1.              ____________________________________________________________

2.              ____________________________________________________________

3.              ____________________________________________________________

Three Pieces I’m Glad I Wrote:

My list:

1.              My first published story inspired by the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle. It was fun to write and it got recognised!

2.              The story about the district nurse who cared for my mother when she was very ill. It never got published but it was cathartic and healing to write.

3.              Homecoming, which was recorded for Short Story Radio and meant I was invited to the launch party in one of Dickens’ London homes!

Your turn:

1.              _________________________________________________________

2.              _________________________________________________________

3.              _________________________________________________________

Three Places or Things That Support You As a Writer

My List:

1.              A good cup of Nespresso coffee.

2.              My word processing program.

3.              The internet connection that enables me to link up with other writers and research stuff I know nothing about.

Your Turn:

1.              __________________________________________________________

2.              __________________________________________________________

3.              __________________________________________________________

Three Qualities You Love About Yourself As a Writer 

My List:

1.              My imagination.

2.              My skill at creating a sense of place.

3.              My ability to be inspired by events and people.

Your Turn:

1.              ___________________________________________________________

2.              ___________________________________________________________

3.              ___________________________________________________________

I’d love to hear a few of your answers. Oh, and maybe a little early, but have A Merrier Christmas!


Blog Categories

Who's Online
Site News
Monday, April 21, 2014
This Week on Writers Abroad
Recent Blog Posts
Death of Awesome, Birth of Digital Dementia
Posted by Angela

On Good Friday I got back home from a brief sojourn in the Yorkshire Dales with some dear friends. One particularly glorious morning we went...Read More

This Week on Writers Abroad: 14 April
Posted by Vanessa Couchman

Jo is away in the UK this week and I think we’ve had a slight mix-up about the This Week slot, so I’ll stand in....Read More

Iiterary or Popular Fiction?
Posted by Doreen

Literary or Popular fiction?

At a recent meeting of my Discussion Lunch Group, we were invited to consider a study published in the U.S....Read More

Reading, Writing and Blog-Banks!
Posted by Crilly

Having gazed out of my dining room window for ten minutes praying for inspiration and waiting for the perfect subject to write about, I have...Read More

This Week On WA 31st March
Posted by Dianne Ascroft

The clocks jumped forward an hour in Britain this weekend to Daylight Savings Time and I’m feeling slightly dazed this morning (no alcohol was involved,...Read More

This website is powered by Spruz