Being glad for my glad-fors

Every night without fail at 9pm (usually 10pm on Saturdays), I log on to Facebook and compose a post consisting of ten things I am glad for that evening.

The ten things can range from the ridiculously trivial (Wednesday's post, for instance, gave thanks to whoever invented Wensleydale and apricot cheese) to the intensely serious - Monday's recorded my thanks for BBC Radio's Test Match Special after commentator Jonathan Agnew read out an emotional email from a listener explaining how TMS had been the soundtrack for the last moments of his dying father's life. 

There have to be ten things, however. If I get to nine, I can't stop and think 'That'll do'. It has to be ten, even if it takes all night to think of No 10. I've recorded here previously how this idea comes from my dear friend Jo Happiness-Howarth, who uses it to make herself and others look hard for the good and positive things in every day, rather than focusing on the bad, the difficult and the negative.

What I haven't considered enough, though, is just how popular and infectious these posts are. I've found that a growing number of friends have started doing their own nightly 'glad' posts and I'm increasingly getting surprise emails or messages from people who follow me on social media saying how much they appreciate my posts.

This week, I met a lady at a networking event. I admitted to her that I didn't know who she was or where she lived; she told me that we knew each other because she had messaged me out of the blue two months ago, when she was going through a tough time in both her work and personal lives, to say simply: "Loving your glads." My post had cheered her up and made her day.

That got me thinking about the number of people who see my nightly post and appreciate it but don't respond; those whose appreciation gets lost in the social-media forest. It's not exactly gone viral and as one of those people noted this week when they did respond, I do it for me, not for other people. As with my stroke-awareness work, if it encourages just one person, then that's good enough for me.

But no author of any sort writes just for themselves; no-one sits in front of a laptop for however long and composes anything without secretly hoping that someone, somewhere, is sitting and reading it and enjoying it.

That's why I left small weekly local newspapers to work on a regional daily; that's why editing British Naturism magazine, which went out to an international audience in print and on the web, was the pinnacle of my career; that's why I'm so pleased that my podcast (at http://thewarriorpodcast.libsyn.com and on iTunes) is doing so well. 

I can't imagine life without my nightly post now. Even if Mrs Warrior and I have been out all night and don't get home until the early hours, I won't go to bed until I've written it. Even if I'm in a hotel room the night before an early-morning speaking gig, I'll make sure I do it. And what's pleasing is that more and more different people are appearing in it. Things happen throughout my day which make me think: ''Must mention that tonight." It's slowly changing my outlook on life. Which, as Jo Happiness-Howarth will tell you, is what it's supposed to do.