Everyone struggles with something. Writer struggles take on a monstrous shadow that overwhelms our ability to create. The deep roots of many problems are in our mind.
“I don’t know how to start” so the book is never started.
“I don’t think it’s any good” so the book is never finished.
“No one will like this” so the book stays on the flash drive/hard drive or in the cloud.
The list of debilitating thoughts could fill a book. Hopefully, you’ve gotten the gist of the issue.
When our mindset is negative, we struggle to show up at the page, create anything, or finish projects. In fact, having a “winning” mindset is a struggle for many people—not just writers.
Positive thoughts lead to positive outcomes. Sounds cheesy, right? But it’s true. Research proves that what we repeatedly think bleeds into how we live.
Our brain has no idea if our thoughts are lies or truth. If we think it, the mind accepts it.
Before we continue, let’s make sure we have a common definition for mindset. The dictionary defines it as a fixed attitude or disposition (mood). It can also me an intention or inclination.
I think of it as an answer to: what is my mind set on?
If it’s set on finishing this book, I might hear the negative backtalk about quality or originality.
“Who do you think you are to write this book?”
“No one’s going to read this drivel.”
The thoughts that push back against the intention to finish a book or the upbeat attitude toward our stories is called resistance.
Resistance is simply opposition.
As a writer, we have team “write the book” versus “overthink everything.” Most of the opposition we face happens inside our mind.
When we face resistance—those negative thoughts that derail our writing—we are tempted to quit. In fact, the voice withstanding our dream of being a published writer encourages that.
Is it easier to do what we’re being encouraged to do? Or what creates the most friction?
Quitting is the path of least resistance. But it isn’t the road that leads to the dream of publishing a book.
One way to quiet resistance is through affirmations.
An affirmation is a statement we declare to be true. It is also a positive assertion.
“I am a successful author.”
“Dozens of readers want to read my book.”
These are affirmations I’ve used to shift my mindset in the past. Are they true? That depends on the perspective.
Remember what I mentioned earlier about the brain believes whatever we tell it? That’s why there’s power in meditating on affirmations and visualizing events we wish to happen. Our brain accepts these “statements” as fact.
Think you’re a horrible writer? Keep thinking it often enough and you’ll discover that your writing suffers.
This isn’t to say we can produce a bestselling book by constantly telling ourselves we’re writing one. We’ll still have to do the work and learn the skills necessary to craft one.
But you can be sure that if you think everything you write will be rejected by agents, publishers, and readers, you’ve prophesied your own doom.
Change your mindset today. Write down what you want to accomplish with your writing. Rewrite each thing into a statement—as if you have already done it.
Example: I want to be compared to C.S. Lewis. Affirmation statement: My books are loved by readers of C.S. Lewis.
Don’t think mindset is your biggest struggle? Take this quiz to find out.
Will you share one affirmation in the comments?