Attitude of Gratitude is a blog about gratitude written by Kevin Carroll. Inspired by a gratitude themed retreat, he decided to express his gratitude through blogging. There are many wonders around us and Kevin writes about his gratitude for all. Recently he turned some of his posts into a book titled A Moment’s Pause For Gratitude. Amongst the excitement of his first book, Kevin was kind enough to answer a few questions about his blog and book. For that, we are thankful.
1) Can you tell us about yourself and your blog?
I devoted forty years of my life to teaching, mostly at the high school level. I retired in June 2015. While I was born and raised in San Francisco, I’ve lived in the Santa Clara Valley since 1972. My wife, Kathy, and I have three young adult sons and two grandchildren.
In November 2006, I attended a weekend retreat at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Los Altos, California. The theme of the retreat was “gratitude.” I wanted to find some way to maintain the focus on gratitude I was experiencing at the conclusion of that weekend retreat. I decided to start a blog.
My first blog post was December 23, 2006. Now, almost eleven years later, I have more than 1,500 posts on the blog I named “Attitude of Gratitude.” The purpose of my blog is to express my gratitude for the people, experiences, opportunities, and abilities I have been blessed with throughout my lifetime. I also hope to inspire others to focus on gratitude in their own lives.
2) What is your process for writing a blog post?
In the blog’s first full year (2007), I wrote every day. Since that time, to avoid blogging becoming a chore rather than something I enjoy doing, I write when I have something to say. Topics for my blog can come from anywhere — memories, experiences, quotes, songs, or things I observe as I go about my day.
My process? I sit down and write. That’s pretty much it. I was an English major, with an emphasis in writing, at Santa Clara University, so I am passionate about good writing. Spelling, punctuation, and grammar are important to me. Writing is a gift, and I try to do it to the best of my ability.
4) What is your favorite feature in Typepad?
I have been very impressed with the tech support Typepad provides. I’ve had very few problems in the eleven years I’ve been blogging, but whenever I did encounter a problem, people from tech support were there to guide me through it.
6) What is the most important thing you have learned from blogging?
I think it’s important for bloggers to realize that if you put it “out there” in the blogosphere, anyone can read it. Be smart about what you publish.
7) What made you decide to create a book? Any advice for bloggers that want to make a book from their blog?
For several years, I’ve received feedback from readers of my blog recommending that I consider publishing some of my work. I always thought it would be a good idea, but I was busy with my teaching job, so I didn’t have the time to do so. When I retired, I committed myself to doing nothing for the first year. I needed a break from life. My goal for the second year of my retirement was to publish a book of some of my blog posts.
The book, A Moment’s Pause for Gratitude, contains fifty posts. I preface each one with a quote, and I added a few reflection questions for the reader after each post.
For those who might be considering making a book from their blog, I’d recommend that they read “How to Blog a Book” by Nina Amir and “Demons of the Blank Page” by Roland Merullo.
9) What is one goal for your blog in the next 6 months?
The next six months will be a challenge for me. I will be marketing my book, which will take some time. I also want to begin my next book, with a target publication date of October 2018. Despite these commitments, I will continue blogging on the topic of gratitude, though the frequency of my posts may be less than in the past.
Kevin Carroll was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He is a graduate of Saint Ignatius College Preparatory, Santa Clara University (B.A. in English/Writing), and the University of San Francisco (M.A. in Education). After a forty-year career in education, Kevin retired in June 2015 to pursue a second career in writing.
Kevin, and his wife Kathy, currently live in San José, California. They have three sons and two adorable grandchildren, Liam and Emily.
When he is not writing or playing with his grandkids, Kevin enjoys reading and spending time outdoors. He has been inspired by the writings of Paulo Coelho, Coach John Wooden, Roland Merullo, Hal Urban, Janice Kaplan, Harold Ivan Smith, Jack London, Father Jim Martin, S.J., Frank McCourt, and many more accomplished authors.