Does Your Habitual Thinking About Writing Serve You?

Sitting-outside-park-33150-lThe other night, in the middle of the night, I came to a realization (I guess being wakeful has its uses). The realization was this: every time I think of something I want, my next thought is, but I can't afford it.  It doesn't matter if I'm thinking about buying a luxury automobile or a five cent piece of candy, every thought about something I may buy is inexorably linked to I can't afford it.

Talk about habitual thinking.

Talk about negative habitual thinking.

This thought was so ingrained that it took a drowsy, unguarded moment to shake it loose, and I was actually amazed that I remembered it in the morning.  As I thought about it, I pondered buried habitual thoughts and wondered how many I might harbor about writing.  Quite a few, I'd wager.  Thoughts like:

I'm a writer. But I'm unpublished.

Not too harmful, right?  Except that what we focus on grows.  So how about changing that thought to:

I'm a soon-to-be published writer.

Great, you say, except…..it's not so easy.

Yeah, I hear you.  And I've also been working diligently on changing my habitual thoughts for years.  The morning I woke up with the realization I think I can't afford anything, I wrote down the process I use for changing thoughts and herewith share it with you. 

1.  Be Aware.  This is probably the hardest part–figuring out what those habitual thoughts are. Once you start to pay attention, it gets easier.  The old stalwart brain training rituals like meditation or exercise will help here also.

2.  Feel.  It's not enough to become aware, you've also got to feel it in your body.  You've brought it up from the murky depths, don't let it sink back in.  What part of your body does it lodge in?  How does it make you feel? Concentrate on it and allow it to intensify.

3.  Cut Cords. Imagine fine silky cords running between your original thought (I'm a writer) and your negative thought (But I'm still unpublished). Now lop those cords off.  That's right, go ahead and snip 'em.  If you believe in guides and spirits you can ask one of them to do the cutting. Doesn't matter.  Just get rid of the cords.

4. Think a New Thought.  One unencumbered by negativity.  Like, oh, say, I'm a writer.  Plain and simple.  Because you are!

5.  Rinse and Repeat.  Whenever you're feeling down, look at your thoughts.  And repeat this process as needed.  It really does help. 

In general, changing your thoughts makes a huge difference.  At the very least, it is way more pleasant to think positive thoughts than negative thoughts.  At the very most, it could make an enormous difference in your writing career. (Because, what we focus on is what grows.)

So, tell me–how do you deal with habitual negative writing thoughts?

***And don't forget my Get Your Novel Written Now class, gearing up for a new session in October.  Sign up here.

Image of woman sitting on the bench by Zizzy0104.

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8 Comments on "Does Your Habitual Thinking About Writing Serve You?"

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Sandy
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Sandy

I have been trying for the longest time to rid myself of the ‘I’m unpublished’ negative thought. I believe I’m a writer, I represent myself as a writer on social media and various blogs I comment on, but every so often I’ll hear that little voice in the back of my head. ‘You’re unpublished. What gives you the right to say anything about writing?’. I try to shut him up, but it’s an ongoing process.

Charlotte Dixon
Guest

It is an ongoing process, and the more you do it, the easier it gets.  Really helps to replace it with a new thought.  I think people give up on positive thinking because its a lifelong journey, not an easy fix.  And yet, it truly makes a difference.  As the saying goes, it works if you work it–so keep working it!  It'll get easier!

Cat York
Guest

I go through this with my art as well. Great post. Good advice!

Charlotte Dixon
Guest

Isn't it amazing how we creatives all face the same issues?  Thanks for dropping by, Cat.

Fear of Writing
Guest
Excellent stuff. I love how you were able to remember that important realization the next morning. It ain’t easy! I totally agree that self-awareness is the first step. I also find it very helpful to perceive the sabotage-thoughts as not being the real me. I sometimes refer to it as a micro-chip. Or a greebly. I’m not sure where it comes from, or what it’s higher purpose is (to test us?), but I firmly believe it’s not who we really are. For me, being clear about that helps both with self-forgiveness and for doing battle with it. I’m getting to… Read more »
Charlotte Dixon
Guest

Ooh, I love the name greebly!  That is great!  I may have to borrow that…and yeah, I totally agree with you, its important to tell the greebly to #$%^ off.  It's amazing how they shrink back to nothing when we finally do!  I love your comments, Milli.

Debbie Maxwell Allen
Guest

Great thoughts, Charlotte! You always make things so practical.

~Debbie

Charlotte Dixon
Guest

Thanks, Debbie!  Appreciate you stopping by.

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