For my ROW80 checkin post on Sunday/Monday I let out the incredible news that even during all my sexy little other tasks (like Facebook, twitter, writing blog posts like this one, or even feeding back and trialing a new book coming on the market) I was finally feeling the calling to get back to work and write and complete my writing project.
That’s pretty BIG in the scheme of things in my mind. Because my writing task at the moment is revision.
Now, I’m feeling much more secure in myself. This post is for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group which publishes post like these every first Wednesday of the month.
Revising. Yuck. Who actually enjoys revision?
Maybe at the end of the thing when you supposedly see the beautiful butterfly kick open the dark cacoon you birthed it into…yeah, maybe revision might give a whisper of satisfaction even.
But not now…not at stage one of revision, when the thing looks awfully…well…fugly is a word that’s gone into disuse, but appears appropriate to my little chrysalis sitting on a new hard-drive.
Normally I am (was?) a reluctant reviser. I’d much rather do something-anything else. Like, a new writing project, or some Tweeting maybe (even though I’m not a huge liker of social-likers). Anything, like, say — making a schedule, drawing up a business plan, solving Pythagoras’ theorem.
Anything but revision.
So what changed? How did this reluctant completer get to be fretting right now, right as she writes this blog post out, that she’s not actually in her novel, doing something to finish that novel?
The Secret to My Change of Monkey Mind : Brainwashing
Okay, coming clean. It’s not actually brainwashing, but that gets more readers than the truth of the matter – affirmations.
Affirmations are so…1980’s aren’t they? Despite many people to this day continuing to espouse their usage, many of us squirm a little bit when asked to stick phrases up inside our kitchen cupboards or on our bathroom mirrors. Seeing “You are a successful and good person” scrawled in red lipstick on my mirror at 6am in the morning is shocking, yes. But I’ve tried them, and failed them. I am a serial affirmation failure, no less. And don’t I sound proud of it, too?
So, just to sex this huge mindset change thing up a little, I want to introduce more life-coach mumbo and say this term out loud too – subliminal programming.
Subliminal messages are a controversial subject, I know. There are many claims of music, advertising and music offering messages we can’t see or hear, getting us to spend money on certain products. But every tool has it’s good and bad usages, and I’ve found a good one.
Before I lose you there, let me then add the stuff that I actually love – techno mumbo jumbo. Subliminal programming via software. Yay, there’s an app for that (actually, apparently there are a couple of SP apps in the iTunes store, but mine is for the PC).
This is how it worked for me. It may not work for you, because we’re all individuals, but being the ex software tester that I am, I really took this to task, and setup some testing of the thing.
- For the first week between Christmas and New Year, we’ll call it the normal test. I did nothing out of the ordinary, and did not use the software. That was the week I got my new badly needed laptop for Christmas, set it up on Christmas Day, and promptly lost half my data to a broken EHD. But after setting up new software etc, any writer will know – a new computer calls to you to use it anyway, despite how busy you are elsewhere. I managed to muck around on my novel however, and not get any actual real revision done.
- On January 3rd I began an online writing craft course – on revision. The homework required us to finish exercises through the novels we were revising. Which I did the bare basics of, submitted late, and did plenty of other tasks during those days also. Plenty. Just not the revision.
- On January 12th things changed. According to my records, I began stepping through the revision, analysing my novel scene by scene, triaging it. By January 23rd, I was spending several hours a day at it, and enjoying it!
- The difference was found on January 12th, when I downloaded a purchased copy of Subliminal Power. I started using it right off, remembering to turn it on first thing in the morning.
- In the last week towards February, I began to realise I was working differently. When I did other stuff – sometimes necessary stuff, of course, I was always “wanting” to get back to the revision work. A case in point is the last weekend, while I spent hours on reviewing and feeding back on a writing book – a task I would normally consider the sexiest beast of all, instead I found myself resentful that I’d been taken out of my own revision task, not able to work on my own project.
- To test my suspicions out, from January 24th on through that weekend, I didn’t turn Subliminal Power on. I continued to work on my revision task, but by mid-Friday I wasn’t feeling the same amount of success. By Saturday I was down, by Sunday I was looking at excuses to not write at all the next day. I turned SP back on on Tuesday, and by Friday of last week, was fullstream into revision again.
Of course, the testing is only a personal conclusion, fraught with unscientific judgements. It’s not empirical, not even under control. But for me, it was enough to say I had found something here. After a solid month of using it (and not using it), I can say that I have seen some obvious changes in my attitude to my writing. I feel good when I’m getting on with my writing tasks, I’m much more organised, and can see where other work is impacting my ability to actually be a published author.
And I will continue to use it. If you find some tasks in writing find the resistance or monkey mind within, consider giving it a go. I that many of us get to a certain stage in our writing life where we either turn that corner that leads us more quickly to professional success (in however we want it) or we give up. This break-point comes to us on more than one occasion, and is conquered by more than just one mind-change or ephiphany, or tool, or solution. So, using something like Subliminal Power can’t be the entire solution or key to my own writing habit changes, but it does offer one secret to my own success as a more secure writer.
It’s a program that shoots up a little white affirmation phrase in front of you (or to the side, or randomly) in extremely faint and unreadable text. The text font size and time it shows can be changed in settings, but the basic settings seem to work – 100 miliseconds display, displaying different affirmations randomly every five seconds.
Subliminal Power provides ten different baroque music tracks you can play in the background. I found them annoying, so don’t use this feature, despite baroque apparently being the recommended 60 beats per minute that helps with brain receptivity and relaxation. Perhaps writers need to shut out other messages while they work, not receive them?
The program comes with over twenty sets of pre-written affirmation collections. You can choose from “Woman’s Stuff – being a total man magnet”, to a set to lose weight on, stop smoking, or several with Personality or Attitude slants. There’s a creative thinking one too.
I turned these all off, and wrote my own. Although I was tempted to use some of the others, I believed that a focussed approach to my writing was needed, and worthy of a trial. My “writing success” listing contains several writing affirmations that I found quite easily on the internet. New Years is a good time to look for affirmation lists out there anyway. Most of the affirmations are about finding happiness and confidence in my writing, being successful, an award winner, being productive. They are all pretty generic, but I did rewrite a few to fit my own perceived needs at the time.
The only affirmation within my writing success list towards revision says simply – “Something amazing happens when I revise and rework, and edit”
Indeed. I’m not sure that something amazing is towards quality or end result – time will tell on that front, but certainly it’s amazing to me that I have actually spent hours of my time actually revising and rewriting, and that I’ve enjoyed it.
The program is very easy to use, although hasn’t altered for years. I did have problems installing onto Windows 7 Pro, however. So each day I have to complete the installation process to open it from icons.
Available from the official website here. This is not an affiliate link, although there are affiliations available.
Subliminal Power is currently priced at $39.95 for the download version, with a 100% money back guarantee. I got my copy for a lot less than that, as at the time people were offering coupons for huge discounts. Look out for discount coupons for this product at your normal coupon sites also.