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Monday, 14 April 2014

Think Positive!

Flicker Creative Commons - Lauren Lionheart


We all need a positive way forward when it comes to our writing lives. Start by replacing any negative thoughts with positive ones.


  • Make a list of all the writerly things you do each day, not just the actual writing. Add things like, spent ten minutes printing out a WIP, research for the novel, filling out a competition entry form, attending a writers group or critiquing a friends manuscript. At the end of the week you'll be amazed how much you got done. 

  • Look for the good in the writing workshops or events you attend, even if they don't live up to your expectations, there is always something positive to be found. I attended a really badly run writing workshop a couple of years ago, so bad that people were walking out! I stayed and took notes for an article I called, How Not To Run A Writing Workshop. The same goes for the writers you meet, look for the good in each and everyone of them. 

  • Have a plan of the things you want to achieve in the next 7 days. Work out what you want to do, and how you intend to get there. Fail to plan, and you're planning to fail, so make a list, and look at it often. Keep it simple, and don't forget to tick things off as you achieve them. There is something deeply satisfying about putting a line through a list. 

  • Don't forget to have fun with your writing now and again. Step outside your comfort zone, stand up and do open mic, write some flash fiction if you don't already, get a few writing buddies together and perform a one page play, script in hand. Or take your writing out on tour, visit a new locations where you can sit with a pen and a notebook and simply scribble. 

  • Spend time with positive people who write. Optimism is infectious, so share your passion for words often. Avoid anyone with a negative outlook, they will only sap your energy and destroy your motivation.

  • Start a blog! Write about your writers journey, take pictures and record all the good things that happen. As well as a few of the bad ones too. You can look back at them and reflect on how you overcame them. Share your adventure and make new friends.

  • Make contact! If you feel bad about some aspect of your writing, its probably not as bad as you think, reach out, speak to someone in person or online, there are lots of forums out there these days. If you're a member of a writers group, ask someone for advice or help. You aren't alone, so help each other, you'll feel good if you can solve a problem thats been bothering someone for a while. Who knows perhaps you can bounce ideas off each other. 

  • Start a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, write down three positive things that happened today. These can be anything form bumping into an old writing buddy, to giving someone a hand crossing the road and seeing the smile on their face, to eating a delicious meal or writing 2000 words. By recording your good things daily, you'll feel more positive.

  • Be kind to people. Have you done something nice for someone today? This has to be one of the best ways to feel happier. Give someone a book you've read, buy them a coffee, or simply just smile and stop to pass the time of day. It doesn't have to be anything huge and spectacular. 

Go now, and rewire your brain. Shout out to another writer today, boost your happiness levels, pausing to do something thoughtful for someone else often breaks the negativity bubble. If you know someone who needs a little bit of help with their writing, or just a quick motivational tweet, why not reach out.


14 comments:

  1. Great post, Maria - and by coincidence, I started on Sunday to keep a list of things I did achieve and surprised myself! And being kind to people - that's the best advice of all isn't it x

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    1. Well done you, and yes, I agree, being kind to people is the number one thing...

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  2. Great advice, Maria - especially the point about meeting up with positive writers. I meet with Tracy Fells once a month and it's highly motivating.

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    1. Fab that you two get together. I love meeting up with my writing buddies too.

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  3. I felt quite smug as I went through your post ticking of the points until I reached the last paragraph about reaching out to someone else. Writing-wise, I am probably of little help but maybe I should reach out to others who need motivation.

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    1. I am sure you would be good at it...and we all have to start somewhere. Go for it, you'll reap the rewards.

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  4. I like your idea of keeping a list of writerly things one does - I bet we do more than we think we do! I already count attending my writing course as a writer thing and I don't chastise myself if I don't write any other words that day. In the end, making writerly connections is just as important.

    I don't make enough writing plans, but you just inspired me to make a seven-day plan to work on my outline. Hope I stick to it! Thanks :)

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    1. All writerly things count, and mingling with other writing buddies at class or the coffee bar is very important. It feeds your writing habit! Can't wait to hear about your list.

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  5. Excellent post, Maria - I love positive thinking and can testify to its power! Will make sure I'm following all this advice!

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    1. Hi Rosemary, I do too. It fills me with enthusiasm, even more so if there are several people in the room who all feel the same.

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  6. Optimism is infectious. Mixing with positive, enthusiastic people gives a real boost to the writing.

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    1. Very true Sally...good job we have it in abundance.

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  7. Wonderful ideas, Maria! I'm so glad my image was used to compliment your writing. Thank you for letting me know on Flickr so I could come by and give you a virtual high five! And now, onward with the brain rewiring ;)

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    1. Hi Lauren, thank you for popping over, I love your artwork, it very much complimented my post. Thank you for sharing it.

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I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!