Desire vs danger, it’s what your story is about

Write Better Now
Write Better Now
Desire vs danger, it's what your story is about
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Dwight Swain has a book, The Techniques of a Selling Writer, and there’s a chapter (well many) that talk about story structure, but one specifically begins like this:

“All stories are ‘about’ the same thing: desire versus danger.”

Swain

So that’s a really good place to start.

What does your character desire (or as we usually say-want)?

Our characters are either trying to get or keep something and the story happens because there is danger that might keep our little heroes from getting their goals. That danger can be huge (like being called home to an oppressive space) or small (losing peace of mind), but the reader must always feel it there.

Swain says there are five basic elements to all commercially successful stories (and some of them want me to say, ‘Duh, obviously.’ Still, it’s good to look at them) and I’m going to lay those out here.

  • Character
  • Situation
  • Objective
  • Opponent
  • Disaster

Let’s go a tiny bit more in depth, okay?

Character – This is the protagonist. The protagonist must want things. Things have to affect her. She must react to things outside herself. She must oppose the dangers that go against her wants/desires.

Situation – So this is world around the character or as Swain says, “No focal character exists in a vacuum. He operates against a backdrop of trouble that forces him to act. That backdrop, that external state of affairs, is your story situation.”

Objective—So this is what your main character wants. If she doesn’t want anything, there is no story. If she doesn’t want anything, there is nothing for her to fight for and fight against.

Opponent—This is what fights against your character’s wants. The better the opponent, the better the story. Swain writes, “Obstacles personified in a person—who not only resists but fights back—make for more exciting reading.”

Disaster – This is the climax right, the SCARIEST MOST HORRIBLE THING HAS HAPPENED. Your protagonists is in a cage, damn it, starving, cold, on display. It’s always near the end of the story.

Swain suggests writing two sentences to collate all that for your story.

“Sentence 1 is a statement. It establishes character, situation, and objective.

Sentence 2 is a question. It nails down opponent and disaster.”

Swain

Here’s a try.

A local fire fighter in a conservative and sexist department wants a promotion. Will she be able to snag the captain spot that the chief doesn’t want to give her because she’s already too “weird” when she’s suddenly confronted by the magical nature of her family and the monsters they attract.

So, the reader will wonder:

Will they defeat the bad guy, deal with their inner issues and danger, and be happy/succeed in getting their want?

So, will she deal with the chief and the monsters, allow her inner weirdness to shine and get the damn promotion?

A positive character arc the answer is a yes.

A negative character arc the answer is a no.

Most static arcs are also yeses, the character just doesn’t grow.

You want the conflict in there because the conflict tells the reader that there is emotion going on in the story. And that, my friends, is what the story needs.


Hey, thanks for listening to Write Better Now.

These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in us, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Mr.ruiz and the track is Arctic Air and the album is Winter Haze Summer Daze.

For exclusive paid content, check out Carrie’s substack, LIVING HAPPY and WRITE BETTER NOW. It’s basically like a blog, but better. There’s a free option too without the bonus content but all the regular stuff is there.

Do NOT hide in a stuffed bear when running from the cops and where the hell is the empathy, you jerks

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Do NOT hide in a stuffed bear when running from the cops and where the hell is the empathy, you jerks
/

“You can’t love someone or something without relating to its existence,” says musician Pharrell Williams in a MasterClass about empathy. “In order to relate, you have to empathize.”

For Williams, it’s about changing your vantage point. “A lack of POV is a lack of context” he says, and when you don’t have a context then you can’t understand the greater situation that’s around you. It’s like you’re looking at just the mountain in front of you and don’t realize that there’s an entire landscape behind it.

“When you open your mind’s eye, you get a bigger view,” he says. This goes for people too.

He suggests thinking about a demographic and trying to imagine an hour of what that person is going through, he says. It’s best to think about a segment of the population that is very different from you or one that you have a bias against.

“We tell people to just get over it and let it go,” he says about when people are oppressing you, but if you close your eyes and try to imagine what it’s like to live their experience, you might stop oppressing others.

“Empathy is a crucial step in forgiveness,” he says because it makes us realize that “we might have made some insane choices in similar circumstances.”

Empathy is the first step in forgiveness and understanding because it’s a step of awareness. It becomes a democratizing and political force, Williams says.

Developing empathy is something you can actively cultivate, which is cool and hopeful, but scientists also think it might have to do with this thing called “mirror neurons,” which is still kind of a concept right now.

As Psychology Today explains,

“These neurons, it is theorized, enhance the capacity to display, read, and mimic emotional signals through facial expressions and other forms of body language, enhancing empathy. But whether mirror neurons actually operate this way in humans is a subject of longstanding scientific debate, and some scientists question their very existence.”

So, yeah, they aren’t sure if they are real. But whatever. It’s still cool-just like empathy.

The thing is that empathy does a lot of cool stuff when it comes to making yourself better and your community and world better.

Empathy helps us be friends, cooperate, make decisions that are moral and helps us help others. And we start showing it in infancy. It’s built into us. But I think sometimes fear strips it away, or maybe it’s selfishness that does that or society saying kindness isn’t tough, all that BS.

But empathy is so important. As Psychology Today says,

“Empathy Developing empathy is crucial for establishing relationships and behaving compassionately. It involves experiencing another person’s point of view, rather than just one’s own, and enables prosocial or helping behaviors that come from within, rather than being forced.”

Some surveys indicate that empathy is on the decline in the United States, which is honestly pretty terrifying.

A study in 2010 by Konrath and O’Brien found:

“That empathy is declining sharply among college students today. The authors examined the responses of nearly 14,000 students who had completed a questionnaire measuring different types of empathy. The results show that the average level of “empathic concern,” meaning people’s feelings of sympathy for the misfortunes of others, declined by 48 percent between 1979 and 2009; the average level of “perspective taking,” people’s tendencies to imagine others’ points of view, declined by 34 percent over the same period. There was a particularly steep decline between 2000 and 2009.”

And dude, that’s terrifying because empathy is what makes us a good society, a kind society, a work-together society. So then you have to think, okay. There’s a problem in that we as a culture are losing our empathy, so what do we do? How do we build it back up, right?

There’s actually a TedTalk by Thu-Houng Ha that centers on that.

THREE STEPS TO UP THE EMPATHY

  1. “Strengthen your own resources”

Ha writes:

“Think about something you’re struggling with and how it makes you feel. Then imagine a friend coming to you with that same problem and how you’d respond to them. Doing this can highlight the chasm between the kindness we give to the people in our lives and the kindness (or lack of) that we show ourselves. You’ll probably find a significant difference in how you’d treat your friend — most likely with patience, generosity and forgiveness — versus how you’d react to yourself — perhaps with blame, harshness and self-criticism.

2. Be kind to other people when you are all “dude, I cannot handle any more”

“At some point in your day, especially when you’re stressed or feel like you don’t have any spare bandwidth, spend in some small way — whether it’s in time, energy or money — on someone in your life. Send a text message of support to someone who’s having a hard time. When you’re running errands, pick up your partner’s favorite coffee. Carry an older neighbor’s groceries upstairs. “Building empathy isn’t necessarily about donating half of your salary to charity. It’s about the little things that we do each day,” says Dr. Zaki. “It’s about habits of mind.”

“In an attempt to conserve energy for ourselves, we tend to turn inwards when under pressure. While it may seem counterintuitive, Dr. Zaki has seen that performing these tiny acts — especially at moments when we feel like we can’t — can be energizing and enlivening. “Students are happily surprised to find that when they give to others, they don’t end up depleting themselves,” he says. “Happiness and well-being are not a zero-sum situation.”

Ha

3. Don’t debate when you don’t agree

You can disagree, but explain where your opinion came from and let the other person you’re disagreeing with do that too. Don’t do this with someone who hurts you or who is a bigot about your demographics because you have to protect yourself too, but if it isn’t someone like that just try to talk about your difference of opinion without thinking that person is the anti-christ.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Dogs have empathy so should you. Notice when other people need a good lick on their face or a lay on their lap.

RESOURCES AND PLACES TO LEARN MORE, MAN!

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/research_digest/empathy_on_the_decline

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/empathy

https://www.masterclass.com/classes/the-power-of-empathy-with-pharrell-williams-and-noted-co-instructors/chapters/changing-your-vantage-point

“Changes in Dispositional Empathy in American College Students Over Time: A Meta-Analysis”

Konrath, S.H., O’Brien, E.H., Hsing, C. Personality and Social Psychology Review, August 2010, Advance online publication.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/uk-teen-car-thief-caught-hiding-giant-stuffed-teddy-bear-police

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

The Hurricane

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
The Hurricane
/

Hi! This year (2022), I’ve decided to share a poem on my blog and podcast and read it aloud. It’s all a part of my quest to be brave and apparently the things that I’m scared about still include:

  1. My spoken voice
  2. My raw poems.

Thanks for being here with me and cheering me on, and I hope that you can become braver this year, too!


The workers at

the Hole in the Wall

catalogue their friends’ losses

to the group of diners

that come in and sit

at a high table.


One friend has lost

a porch. Another lost

their oyster building. Another

lost half their roof. Someone lost a car

to a big tree.


Someone and someone

else and someone else

lost their homes.

The hurricane just took their entire worlds.

Another. Another. Another.


Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems. These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in Carrie, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Eric Van der Westen and the track is called “A Feather” and off the album The Crown Lobster Trilogy.

https://freemusicarchive.org/music/eric-van-der-westen/the-crown-lobster-trilogy-selection

MAKING THINGS SIZZLE – HOW DO YOU MAKE CHEMISTRY HAPPEN BETWEEN CHARACTERS

Write Better Now
Write Better Now
MAKING THINGS SIZZLE – HOW DO YOU MAKE CHEMISTRY HAPPEN BETWEEN CHARACTERS
/

K.M. Weiland writes, “Character chemistry can make all the difference in creating a superior story.”

So, how do you put the chemistry sizzle between characters in your story? That’s a big question for a lot of us writers because a lot of readers want romance and fire and good swoony things between characters even when the book isn’t actually a romance.

Well-storied.com is a great site with a ton of sources and information and it was my first stop when I was trying to figure out what exactly is romantic chemistry. Though I write it a lot, truth is I’m not someone who thinks of my own real-life self as very romantic or even very romanceable.

I am, however, someone who has no qualms about making up a word like romanceable.

So, the wonderful Kristen Kieffler wrote,

“Like all relational chemistry, a key ingredient in romantic chemistry is attraction, the pull that interests one person in another. But the types of attraction that create romantic interest will vary from person to person. In fact, there are four main types of attraction that you can use to craft a romantic profile for your characters. Let’s take a look:

Physical Attraction: a desire to touch and be touched by another person, often in a sexual manner.

Intellectual Attraction: a desire to engage with someone due to their intellect and/or interests.

Social Attraction: a desire to interact with someone because of their social aptitude; their confidence, humor, ambition, likability, and/or particular social personality traits.

Emotional Attraction: a desire to connect with someone on a spiritual level, an attraction often prompted by a person’s emotional capacity, attitude, beliefs, or shared experiences.”

Over on K.M. Weiland’s Helping Writers Become Authors, she has a piece about the five steps to write great chemistry between characters and says,

“When we have great chemistry with someone, we discover an almost instinctive synchronization that allows us to rest into our peak energy while easily batting back and forth the ball of interaction.”

And that happens between all the characters in your story, just in different ways.

So then the question becomes how to do it?

First think of these things:

  1. You have to make it believable. Your reader has to get why these two or three or whatever are falling for each other. So that means you have to have well developed characters.
  2. You want to add dimension to your characters even if they are stereotypes like cop and reporter or um, secretary and his CEO, or teacher and the hot mom.  It isn’t just about the demographics/stereotypes, but the psychographics and what makes them tick.
  3. Think about the kinds of attraction Kieffler talks about and make sure that you have a couple of them going on. Show it, don’t tell it. Nobody wants to read, “Carrie thought Shaun was hot.” They want to read, “Shaun stretched out, climbing onto the extra stove in the garage to get the hummingbird out between the windowpanes. ‘Come on, little guy,’ he whispered. ‘You’ve got this.’ Carrie tried not to stare at Shaun’s biceps flexing and relaxing as he tried to coax the hummingbird into his hand. Carrie failed.”

Pretty good stuff, right? I’m going to be going much more in depth on this on my substack, which you can find here.

Hey, thanks for listening to Write Better Now.

These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in us, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Mr.ruiz and the track is Arctic Air and the album is Winter Haze Summer Daze.

For exclusive paid content, check out Carrie’s substack, LIVING HAPPY and WRITE BETTER NOW. It’s basically like a blog, but better. There’s a free option too without the bonus content but all the regular stuff is there.

Brad Pitt in a Skirt and Mixing Things Up in Your Relationships To Make Them Last

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Brad Pitt in a Skirt and Mixing Things Up in Your Relationships To Make Them Last
/

One of the key components of happiness and living a good life is having a good close relationship with someone else and for a lot of us, our closest relationship is with our spouse.

Cough.

Shaun and Carrie are spouses.

Is this the key to our happiness? It’s a good question.

Eli Finkel, a professor of psychology of Northwestern University, wrote a book “The All-Or-Nothing Marriage” and he also wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times where he spoke about how much we expect of our spouses. Those expectations can make things better or um . . . worse.

“At the heart of the American ideal of marriage lurks a potential conflict. We expect our spouse to make us feel loved and valued, while also expecting him or her to help us discover and actualize our best self — to spur us to become, as Tom Cruise’s titular character in “Jerry Maguire” puts it, “the me I’d always wanted to be.”

“The problem is that what helps us achieve one of these goals is often incompatible with what helps us achieve the other. To make us feel loved and valued, our spouse must convey appreciation for the person we currently are. To help us grow, he or she must emphasize the discrepancy between that person and the person we can ideally become, typically by casting a sober, critical eye on our faults.”

Cough.

This seems like a pretty good out in any argument. “It wasn’t that I was criticizing you for not installing the bidet I bought you for our anniversary for six months honey when I said you were a procrastinator, it was that I was trying to help you be the person you can ideally become.”

Cough.

But relationships and marriages and happiness take effort.

ROBERT WALDINGER is a psychiatrist and scholar who has done a lot of research into happiness and marriage. In a HarvardX class, Arthur Brooks interviewed him, touching on this theory that closest relationships are vital to our happiness and that you have to take care of them and mix things up, and Robert said,

“First of all, do everything you can not to take the relationship for granted. Even good relationships become kind of ho hum. We go through the same routines with each other. And if we’re raising kids, if we’re holding down jobs, if we’re doing all the things we have to do in life, your partner becomes your tag teammate. And we can forget to pay attention to each other. And by livening up the relationship, by doing new stuff, going out on a date night, just taking a walk when you don’t usually take walks together, any of the things to loosen things up, loosen the routines up, liven them up, allow yourself to be curious and interested in your partner again can go a long way.”

So a good way to help your relationship survive is to mix things up a bit, right? And another thing that he said is something that makes me feel better about us because Shaun and I are really different, right? And we tend to argue a bit.

Cough. About bidets and other things. Cough.

Waldinger said,


“What we found was that arguments are inevitable. So conflict is going to happen in every relationship. And actually, that turns out not to be the predictor of which relationships are going to last. The predictor in our study seems to be whether there’s a bedrock of affection between two people, even if they argue. And that if there’s that bedrock of affection and respect, that that predicts stability in the relationship. So the advice I might give would be to pay attention to cultivating that affection and respect. And that may mean like reminding yourselves of what it was like when you two first got together, going through old photos, doing romantic things again, logging in those kind of good times and engineering those good times.

Because they’re not things that will happen all by themselves.

They do need to be engineered.”

Problems happen. You should expect them to happen. And part of a good marriage or a good friendship, Waldinger says is to be there for each other, to support each other in all kinds of ways—emotionally, materially, etc. And to not be fake, but be who you really are.

Finkel writes,

“As the psychologists Nickola Overall and James McNulty have shown, spouses who use oppositional, even aggressive methods to inspire each other’s pursuit of goals can increase their partners’ effort and success in the long run, but such methods cause distress in the short run.”

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Take walks different ways. Turn right instead of left. Sniff a tree instead of a bush. And tell your owner you love them.

LINKS

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

Up the Court

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
Up the Court
/

Hi! This year (2022), I’ve decided to share a poem on my blog and podcast and read it aloud. It’s all a part of my quest to be brave and apparently the things that I’m scared about still include:

  1. My spoken voice
  2. My raw poems.

Thanks for being here with me and cheering me on, and I hope that you can become braver this year, too!



Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems. These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in Carrie, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Eric Van der Westen and the track is called “A Feather” and off the album The Crown Lobster Trilogy.

https://freemusicarchive.org/music/eric-van-der-westen/the-crown-lobster-trilogy-selection

The Weird, Strange, Adorable, and Potentially Psychic (!) Things Our Pets Do

Loving the Strange
Loving the Strange
The Weird, Strange, Adorable, and Potentially Psychic (!) Things Our Pets Do
/

Everyone has one of those stories . . . where their cat, dog, lizard, or gerbil did something pretty remarkable.

Join us FRIDAY NIGHT 7 PM EST LIVE as we talk about the best topic of all time . . . OUR PETS!

LINKS WE REFERENCE!

https://www.treehugger.com/most-heartwarming-pet-stories-of-the-decade-4862486

https://www.newsweek.com/21-times-dogs-saved-owners-lives-proving-mans-best-friend-1570567

Character Development and Novel Structures are Creepy Besties. Here’s why.

I am a big fan of boiling things down to simple components and not spending a ton of time on things blathering on, so let’s get to it, okay?

Write Better Now
Write Better Now
Character Development and Novel Structures are Creepy Besties. Here’s why.
/

Novel structure and character development are related.

Not just that, they are creepy best friends. You know the kind. They do EVERYTHING together, drink the same soy-caramel latte, have the same crushes on Bowen Yang, borrow each other’s clothes.

In your novel, your character starts somewhere emotionally and in setting.

Maybe they are emo because they missed seeing Kim K when she went to the WalMart in their town to promote her beauty line.

Maybe they are happy because they finally got promoted at the fire department.

But in the beginning of the story they are something.

            They are in an emotional state.

            They are in a setting.

This is the set-up of the novel, right? The beginning. Act One. Whatever you want to call it.

In a novel, like life, things change. Usually. So, that change is often called a catalyst or inciting incident or plot point one according to whatever writing help book or blog you’re reading. This big change is when Act Two happens—it happens when the change is so massive that your main character can’t be who they were in the beginning any longer. The character is MOTIVATED to react and to act. There is no going back to the world of Act One. That baby is over.

Whoo… That sounds like a lot.

It is. Act Two is a lot.

Act Two equals change. Act Two equals learning lessons. Act Two equals things changing and the main character gets it or they don’t get it. This is about half the pages of your novel. It’s the journey. It’s the meat of the book. The learning. The adventure. It doesn’t all have to be uphill or downhill for your main character, and it’s usually more fun if it’s both.

Then you hit Act Three (the ending chapters, the finale, the closure) and all that learning and change in Act Two? That’s where WE SEE the change for the main character. It’s where WE FEEL the change in the main character.

And they end up in a better place (emotionally and physically).

The structure of the story (all three acts of it) is all about the character’s journey. The story happens because the character makes choices and responds to things that are going on. They are creepy besties. They cannot be apart.

“The tree acts of story correspond to the three stage of the hero’s outer motivation. Each change in the hero’s motivation signals the arrival of the next act.”

Michael Hauge Writing Screenplays that Sell!

Over on the LIVING HAPPY blog this week, we’re going to talk about the three basic character arcs, so you should check that out. The link is below.


Hey, thanks for listening to Write Better Now.

These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in us, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Mr.ruiz and the track is Arctic Air and the album is Winter Haze Summer Daze.

For exclusive paid content, check out Carrie’s substack, LIVING HAPPY and WRITE BETTER NOW. It’s basically like a blog, but better. There’s a free option too without the bonus content but all the regular stuff is there.

Are you a cheerleading mutant?

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Are you a cheerleading mutant?
/

Cheerleading mutant. It sounds pretty awful, but it’s actually a good thing. Because that optimism and gratitude help make your brain healthier and life better. That gives you the sort of cheerleading persona, but where does the mutant come in? Hang on and we’re going to tell you . . .

First let’s define gratitude

“Gratitude is associated with a personal benefit that was not intentionally sought after, deserved, or earned but rather because of the good intentions of another person” (Emmons & McCullough, 2004).

Arthur C. Brooks wrote in an article called, “Choose to Be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier.”

‘Beyond rotten circumstances, some people are just naturally more grateful than others. A 2014 article in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience identified a variation in a gene (CD38) associated with gratitude. Some people simply have a heightened genetic tendency to experience, in the researchers’ words, “global relationship satisfaction, perceived partner responsiveness and positive emotions (particularly love).” That is, those relentlessly positive people you know who seem grateful all the time may simply be mutants.”

Though we may not have those genes, we can make the choice to become happier by working on being more grateful. It’s like that smiling thing, we talked about ages ago (last month) where if you really smile and move all your facial muscles, your brain gets tricked into thinking you’re happy.

Brooks says,

“If grinning for an uncomfortably long time like a scary lunatic isn’t your cup of tea, try expressing gratitude instead. According to research published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, gratitude stimulates the hypothalamus (a key part of the brain that regulates stress) and the ventral tegmental area (part of our “reward circuitry” that produces the sensation of pleasure).”

Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, believes that if you write notes to people telling them you’re grateful for them, it makes you happier. That outgoing gratitude makes you more positive. He suggests writing two a day.

According to positive psychology.com’s Madhuleena Roy Chowdhyr,

“Simple practices like maintaining a gratitude journal, complimenting the self, or sending small tokens and thank you notes can make us feel a lot better and enhance our mood immediately. Couple studies have also indicated that partners who expressed their thankfulness to each other often, could sustain their relationships with mutual trust, loyalty, and had long-lasting happy relationships.”

“It was revealed that the reason why some of us are naturally more grateful than others, is the neurochemical differences at the Central Nervous System. People who express and feel gratitude have a higher volume of grey matter in the right inferior temporal gyrus (Zahn, Garrido, Moll, & Grafman, 2014).”

The article goes on to say that gratitude lessens pain, improves the quality of your sleep, gets rid ‘of toxic” emotions and helps anxiety, depression and stress regulation.


SOURCES!

https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/01/26/could-gratitude-your-genes/jEFJBo92dxOHLa1trSmDKN/story.html

https://positivepsychology.com/neuroscience-of-gratitude/

https://positivepsychology.com/neuroscience-of-gratitude/

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/woman-warned-someone-secretly-living-27635233


SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

spoiler: the sandwich is an objective correlative

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
spoiler: the sandwich is an objective correlative
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Hi! This year (2022), I’ve decided to share a poem on my blog and podcast and read it aloud. It’s all a part of my quest to be brave and apparently the things that I’m scared about still include:

  1. My spoken voice
  2. My raw poems.

Thanks for being here with me and cheering me on, and I hope that you can become braver this year, too!


Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems. These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in Carrie, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Eric Van der Westen and the track is called “A Feather” and off the album The Crown Lobster Trilogy.

https://freemusicarchive.org/music/eric-van-der-westen/the-crown-lobster-trilogy-selection

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