Mindset can make or break a writing journey. Many writers don’t realize how much their inner critic can impact their writing routine. Where are you at in your creativity mindset? Are you feeling stuck, confused, frustrated, satisfied, neutral, joyful, bottomed-out, inspired?
We are less likely to reach the vision of success if our mindset is not aligned with our end goal. Have you ever worked really hard at accomplishing a goal or a project only to feel really let down afterwards? Left thinking, “Huh, well that wasn’t as great as I thought it would be.” That’s because somewhere along the way, our mindset was off, it wasn’t 100% on board with the process.
However, if you’ve got a strong, positive, confident mindset throughout your process or practice—then the end result will knock your socks off. You will reach your personal finish line feeling (and knowing) that you put your best self forward and that you chose the path that best serves you and your goals.
Witnessing and identifying and dealing with any of your negative thought patterns will bring you relief and strength through your journey. Keeping them tucked away, hidden, unnamed will not do you any good.
If you like to journal, try this wonderful three-step exercise:
List out all your limiting beliefs and fears. Go as deep and as far as you can. If you start feeling uncomfortable, take a break, but come back to the exercise.
No one has to see this work. It is part of your secret garden of writing and it is only for your eyes. Spend a day or more on this if you can. You may find that devoting some time to this on a regular basis is beneficial for your healing—this would go along with personal development work which, by the way, would impact any creativity work you’re trying to do. It’s not necessary, but don’t be surprised if by working on your writer self, your real-world self is affected.
After you do some deep-diving into your negative belief system, it’s time to turn things around. For every single fear or limiting belief you listed, write down the exact opposite statement.
I have no time to write
I have plenty of time to write
Be careful to always use positive language here. If, for example, one of you limiting beliefs is “I’m always interrupted”, then you want to stay away from using as your positive statement “I’m never interrupted” as the term “never” is considered a negative word, so it brings in a negative tone. Rather, say something like “I am free of interruptions.”
It’s important that you stay open and receptive during this second part of the exercise.
Reason being that once you get into the flow of positive statements, more positive statements will bubble to the surface, and they’ll be of their own accord and probably have nothing to do with any limiting belief you’ve listed. This is your writer self expressing its desires. Remaining open and receptive will allow all of this good vibe stuff to come forth—they are your creative center’s core beliefs and you need to write them down somewhere that you can see them every day.
Interestingly, many of our creative center’s core beliefs are things we might not even be aware of. We’ve stopped hearing them because we’ve been so focused on the negative stuff, and that ego (inner critic) is powerful enough to silence the good stuff if we let it.
But remember: If you keep yourself shut down and closed off or in a state of not-quite-believing during this section of the exercise, those core beliefs will not come forth for you.
Spend as much time and energy on this section as long as it makes you feel good.
Here’s my theory behind writing down a positive statement for each negative statement: If we’re going to give our inner critic / ego airtime, then it only makes sense to give our creative center the same amount of airtime as well.
I’m all about Equal Opportunity.
If we’re going to roil constantly in the negative headspace, then all we’re going to feel is negativity. But once you start balancing out the negative with the positive, you’ll start seeing more positive opportunities, more possibility, more creativity in your writing life.
Sure, that takes some focus and discipline—but in all reality, it’s an easy thing to do. I mean, you write because you want to write, not because you were forced into it. So…write. Stop getting in your own way.
The third step involves finding creative solutions to your biggest blocks. Pick five-ten to start, but if that feels overwhelming, then just pick the top three. Now, come up with three creative solutions for each one of your blocks. Use your imagination and don’t be afraid to go wild here. Even if your solution feels impossible, write it down anyway. Tell yourself “Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could get rid of this fear by …” This helps you remain open to possibility. The true solution may not come to you right away, but as long as you are in the zone of being positive and willing to see things differently, then you’ll find a way around your problem.
You’re still be putting this into your secret garden of writing, so no one is reading this, no one is judging you. It’s important to put it into writing though, so that you can see your thoughts in words.
Quite possibly you have a life block that is severe, traumatic, or horrifying, one that truly has stopped your writing journey cold. One thing to keep in mind is that if you still have a story idea pushing its way through all of that garbage, then your creative self is telling you something. Listen carefully: Your creative self is telling you, “Yeah, okay, life sucks right now, but this is where you can thrive.”
Life is hard, and for some of us, life sucks. But if a story is stirring in among the crap and the busyness and the distractions and the struggles—then you must honor it. You have been given a beautiful gift to tell stories! You must find a way to write, because that is what being a writer is all about.
Do you have limiting beliefs that get in your way of your writing journey? How do you deal with them?
Have a writerly day!