Writers can be a particularly negative bunch. My draft sucks. I was rejected again. My editor wants me to change too much. No one wants to read my book. My beta readers didn’t understand my plot.
There are so many negative experiences in writing, especially when you factor in criticism and critiques, but letting those negative thoughts take over your writing holds you back. When you think negatively, you expect failure, which teaches you fear.
Fear is often the number one reason writers struggle to create. Fear holds you back from writing something wonderful, or it can keep you from writing altogether. Banish negativity and fear with positive thinking.
Positive thinking is a powerful tool in writing. With so many writing fears, it can be a huge factor in your success. In honor of positive thinking day, we need to practice thinking positively and see how it affects your work. We’re going to work on pushing through all those negative thoughts because what you’re doing is worth it.
Understand Your Fears
Before you can tackle your fears, you need to understand where they are coming from. What are the negative thoughts about your writing that keep coming back to you? When do you have most of your negative thoughts? Is it when you’re writing or before you start? What do the negative thoughts focus on? Is it your abilities? Is it your chances of publication?
Once you understand the nature of your thoughts, you can focus on eliminating their impact on your work. For positive thinking day, I want you to take the fears you’ve identified and do three specific exercises that will help you work though your fears.
Here’s your homework:
1. Every time you have a negative thought, doubt, or fear about your writing tomorrow, think of two positive thoughts about your work. Maybe your dialogue is a little rough, but I’m sure you have an awesome concept and a great protagonist that make you want to keep working.
2. Think of three key reasons why you want to write. Write them down on a piece of paper and hang it above your writing space. If you’d prefer, you can also type it and make it your desktop on your computer.
3. Think of three reasons why the manuscript you’re working on is worth finishing. If nothing else, think about the practice you’ll get from completing it. Make a plan to help yourself combat the negative thinking as you work on your draft. Write down at least two things you can do to make finishing easier on yourself. It may be ignoring your own criticisms while you finish your first draft, or maybe it’s talking to a supportive friend. You might work on a skill or anything else you think will help you. Once you have your plan, try to put it into action for long-term success.
Let’s talk about your homework in the comments. I want to hear about you positive thoughts, your reasons for writing, and how you intend to finish your manuscript.