Do you think your #writing isn’t good enough? Dealing with your fears (Part 1)

I just finished reading an issue of the UK writer’s magazine, Mslexia, a publication for women by women, in which a poll revealed that the vast majority of women writers do not submit work for publication due to fear – fear of rejection, or fear that their work is not good enough.

fb-meme-inspire-done

Now I don’t know what the same poll would have thrown up about men, but I’m betting this is pretty universal to all writers.

As a result, I reckoned it was about time to write another motivational post, once again drawing on my day job. I think there is a lot writers can learn from Sports Psychology, which is about performance, and hey, writers have to perform miracles, don’t they? Or at least get them down on the page.

Do you have negative thoughts about your writing?

  • I’m not good enough
  • no one will like my work
  • I don’t have the technical writing skills
  • I don’t think I have the stamina to finish a whole book
  • I’ve finished a book but I’m not sure it’s good enough that anyone will want to read it
  • what happens if I send it off and it gets rejected?
  • what happens if I self publish and no one buys it?
  • it’ll be horrible if I get negative reviews

And so on and so forth. We’ve all had such worries, I’m sure, and I’m betting most of us still do – writers (and probably artists of all types) tend to have that doubting character.

In many respects that’s a good thing, because it encourages us to keep developing our skills, to keep learning, to keep getting better.

But what if these fears are paralysing you?

Positive Framing

What your subconscious believes at the deepest level is what you will cause to happen, thus negative beliefs will be self-fulfilling – you don’t believe you can finish writing a book, so your mind will make you fail, proving to yourself that you were right all along. The only way to turn this around is to change your thought patterns at the belief level – a very deep level inside your subconscious, not under your conscious control.

The first step to turning your fears around and making them work for you, is to recognise that you have them. Once you’ve admitted them to yourself instead of burying them in your subconscious (where they worm around, creating holes in your confidence and actually making your worst fears come true), you can turn them on their heads by using POSITIVE FRAMING.

Instead of saying: “I’m not good enough,” instead say: “I may not be good enough yet, but I’m getting better every day.”

Instead of: “No one will like my work,” say: “I realise not everyone will like my work, but I’m going to make it so good that lots of people will enjoy it.”

Instead of: “I don’t have the technical writing skills,” say instead: “I may not have all the skills I need yet, but I’m working on it.”

Instead of: “I don’t think I have the stamina to finish a whole book,” say instead: “I may not have the stamina to finish a whole book in a short period of time, but I’m going to keep chipping away at it bit by bit until its done.”

And so on.

It is VERY important to VOCALISE these affirmations – this causes the subconscious to listen, and to change those deep held negative beliefs. This might sound like some wooly-headed alternative mumbo jumbo, but it is proven psychology – so don’t be self-conscious about it, go on, get vocal.

Talking to yourself is not just for crazy people 😉

Positive Mental Attitude

I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase, again usually connected with sport, and with the Olympics soon to be with us again (where did those last 4 years go?), I’m sure it will be high in everyone’s awareness again.

In sport, PMA makes the difference between winning and losing. In writing, it does pretty much the same, even if the end result isn’t a medal, but a book contract, a published article, or a well-received self-pub book.

Positive Framing is just one part of the process – stay tuned for further blog posts about the subject – there are lots more things you can do to help yourself along the way, and find that PMA for yourself.

Now get started on those positive affirmations…

See Part 2 of this series here and Part 3 here

 

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12 comments

  1. Loved this inspirational piece Deb. It’s so true, and goes directly in line with the laws of attraction – we get what we focus on. We can’t think negative, or that’s what we’ll receive. I know writers are their own worst critics without hearing rejection from anyone else. I’m happy to spread your positivity around!
    I’ve had a tough year so far, which didn’t even allow for writing time, but I started believing in my own words I preach to other, ‘One day at a time’, instead of being overwhelmed with everything I knew I couldn’t accomplish as the load piled up in my head. One day at a time mantra really helped calm me when I really started to believe, and I got through. 🙂

    1. So glad that approach is working out for you – you’ve really been through it this year. Hope the rest of it gets easier!
      Another post in this series will be a bit along the lines of your one day at a time – it’s known as ‘chunking down’ – in other words, breaking things into manageable sized chunks and dealing with them a piece at a time.

      1. Well I’m looking forward. And after you’ve posted that, I plan on reblogging both parts together. 🙂

      2. I’m thinking 3 or 4 parts to this, like a mini-series…

      3. Even better. Thanks for the heads up, I will wait for further posts. 🙂

  2. […] Part 1 of this series, which you can find here, I talked about the concept of POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE, a phrase much used in my normal working […]

  3. Nice to see this on the Bookdesigner Deb! 🙂

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