Thursday, June 30, 2022

Five Steps to a Healthy Writer Mindset

A positive mindset is a must for writers if you want to be successful. Of course, success can be as simple as finishing the first draft of a manuscript or as big as becoming a #1 bestselling author on the New York Times list.

One thing’s for sure, though. If you give up and quit moving forward, you’ll never reach your writing goals. That’s why it’s so important to develop a healthy mindset. So you don’t give up. A healthy writer mindset keeps you going.

Nix the Negative Self-talk

I know how hard it can be to fall prey to negative self-talk. When I graduated from college, I got a B on my senior thesis (a novel). Don’t get me wrong; I was happy with the B. But my professor scribbled something underneath my grade.

“This still to me seems to not be of professional quality.

Because of that comment, I ended up not writing creatively for 10 years! I know, it seems kind of petty. But to be fair, it was more of a subconscious thing. Still, the negative self-talk was not good. I believed things like: 
  • I’m not good enough to be a writer. 
  • I’ll probably never get published.
  • I just wasted four years of college on a Creative Writing degree I’ll never use. 
  • Writing is too hard; I’ll just stick to journal writing
  • Nobody cares about the stories in my head; it’s useless.

But one day, somebody did care. They saw that I had expertise in writing, editing, and storytelling. They wanted my feedback. And I got excited about my writing again. I haven’t looked back since. It just takes one single moment to nix the negativity and get back to your writing. You’re worth it. Go for it!

Five Steps to Create a Healthy Mindset

A positive mindset is powerful. The day I heard about (and watched) Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret was the day I was introduced to the law of attraction and to manifesting your life’s dreams. Not to get all woo-woo on you, but that concept was huge for me! I can’t believe I’d never heard of the Law of Attraction. Really?! Anyway, one of the biggest takeaways from that was confirmation for how powerful the mind truly is. Here are 5 ways to keep your mind positive so you can live the life of your writing dreams.

1. Identify your fears. 

It’s a lot easier to overcome your fears and be positive about it when you know what they are. Your fears are often synonymous with your negative self-talk. My fear was that I wasn’t good enough. That nobody cared. That I didn’t have what it takes to be a writer. But now I know better. 

I AM good enough to pursue my writing dreams. Lots of people care about what I have to offer, whether that be the stories in my head or my ability to help others bring their stories to light. And while my books still haven’t been traditionally published yet, I do have two indie pubs and I’m working on a third. 

2. Focus on the good things. 

You know that fuzzy blurry look when something’s out of focus? That’s what happens to your brain when you’re working toward a goal but you’re not focusing the right things. The right things to focus on are the good things. Put your blinders on to negativity. 

Good things might include progress you’ve made, baby steps you’ve taken, awards you’ve won. Even a rejection letter can be seen as a good thing - it’s just one more ‘no’ to receiving your ‘yes’. It only takes one ‘yes’ for a book deal. Whatever your good things are, focus on them. 

3. Practice gratitude. 

Gratitude is huge! When you’re truly grateful for what you have right now, you will be blessed with more things to be thankful for. I’m grateful for self-acceptance. I’m grateful for all the progress I’ve made in my writing career thus far. I’m grateful that you are reading this right now. I’m grateful for my awards and accomplishments. I’m grateful for my agent. I’m grateful for my writing notebooks, for my ideas, and for the books I’m working on right now. What are you thankful for? 

4. Experience humor. 

Laughter is the best medicine. I’ve read true stories of people who have healed themselves from debilitating diseases, cancer, and horrible hospitalizations from humor. They watched funny movies every single day. They found happy things to focus on and tried to laugh as much as possible. Humor lightens the mood. And that includes a negative attitude. Try to welcome more humor and laughter into life. It will help you create a more positive writer mindset. 

5. Live in the moment. 

Living in the moment is a great way to stay grounded. When negativity starts to creep in, be thankful for where you are right now. Experience the joy in the current moment. If bad things are happening, be thankful for the air you breathe. You can take a deep breath and focus on something good. That you can walk. That your home is comfortable. That you have a job (even if you hate it) because that means you can pay your bills. A friend. A hug. A shoulder to cry on. 

Start with one thing and enjoy it. The sun shining on your face. Anything. Don’t think about the past and your failures. Don’t think about the future and your fears. Think about the current moment and be grateful for it. Focus on the things that bring you joy. The special pen you write with. The beautiful journal you write in. Your online writing friends. Give it a try and see how living in the moment can help you create a better author mindset.

Start a Gratitude Journal

When you write for yourself first, you enjoy the process more. And that will definitely keep you going. Another thing I’ve started doing is to keep a gratitude journal. I use it for everything, not just my writing. It absolutely helps keep my mind positive. It re-energizes my excitement for life. My favorite way to do this is to use the left page for gratitude for your current life. And the right side is for gratitude intentions - your future life written in such a way that it’s already happened. Not just the fact that it has happened, but how it makes you feel and what you’re now able to do as a result of achieving the thing you’re trying to manifest. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

In conclusion, when you’re having a down and out day and you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, or even if you simply stub your toe, implement these positive mindset hacks to help you lighten your load (and your mood). If you notice negativity creeping in, acknowledge it and then take steps to create a more positive outlook for your writing life. A healthy mindset will help you go the distance and reach your writing goals as an author. 

I love using my gratitude journal. Do you have one? Let me know in the comments!

What are some of your own writing and running accomplishments? Click here to share a comment.

Keep on keepin' on...


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