Maintaining a level of positive thoughts and belief in myself and my work is always a struggle. This self-belief can go missing easily: stripped out by everyday things, and the voices of my demon inner critics.
There are many ways to affect more positivity in our writing lives.Today I’m discussing one – affirmations.
“You will be a failure, until you impress the subconscious with the conviction you are a success. This is done by making an affirmation which ‘clicks.’”–Florence Scovel Shinn.
A previous failed affirmation convert, I knew I would have to deal with some resistance over their usage in my own writing life.
“Resistance”, however, “is futile”, as The Borg are keen to point out. And Julia Cameron also has a bit to say about the discomfort in saying or writing positive affirmations: “where we find resistance we may have hit upon some of our negative core beliefs – and those are what holds us back”. Cameron calls these negatives “blurts”.
I now use an app called Subliminal Power which flashes affirmations I’ve chosen for myself onto my computer screen every few seconds. (I’ve written of my experience with affirmations and Subliminal Power in this post. I’ve tested it twice since, and am no longer surprised to say that when I use the software, the ease and focus to my writing process is much better than when I don’t use the software.)
“In working with affirmations, we are working with the power of our subconscious minds. We are seeking an agreement between our conscious and subconscious selves. We strive to be positive, and when the negatives emerge, we must uproot them like weeds in our garden.
It takes a certain amount of daring to try working with affirmations. We must be willing to stand firm in the face of our subconscious’s bluster and bile.”
Cameron’s not the only one – to overcome creative blocks many psychologists, counsellors and creative coaches also tell us to apply positive affirmations to our daily lives.
I may use software and text-based affirmations. But other writers stick a card or poster up on their wall (Seth Godin’s question from Linchpin and The Icarus Deception “Have You Created Art Today?” is popular in some leagues), or a nice quote from a successful writer onto their computer monitor.
Several writers collect writing quotes, or go back to good positive writing craft books, and earmarked quotes inside.
Many don’t think of these positive motivators as being “affirmations” at all. It doesn’t matter how you see them, filling your mind with positive and repetitive mantras works.
The Writer’s Core Habit Pack for Affirmations
Affirmations are a substantial core habit of the successful creative and writer.There is a ton of material and advice on affirmations available across the web. Note the following success habits in affirmations:
- Choose the Right Phrasing: use phrases which are phrased as a done thing, not as a goal or wish. A couple of examples:
Not: I deserve a rewarding creative life.
Yes to: I lead a rewarding creative life.
Not: I will write my first book by the end of the year.
Yes to: I have completed and published my successful book.
- Affirmations for Writers: Across the internet you will also find a plethora of lists of specific writer’s affirmations to choose from. Select only a few to work with, perhaps five, and repeat them to yourself a few times a day – read them out, or flash them using a program (see above)
- Keep your affirmation list personal to your current needs, and reassess them as you go along.
Use affirmations in working with your writer’s belief system, your annual goals, and your life in general.
Some Example Writing Affirmations:
The following is an example list of some writing affirmations I personally use. Borrow a few, and amend to fit your own needs.
- My stories are best-sellers and win awards.
- I am a great world-class author.
- I follow my gut instinct, listen to advice, but make the right decision for my stories.
- I write with passion and integrity.
- I am happy to do what I love and write every day.
- I am productive and successful in writing and revising my drafts.
- I allow my stories to be published exactly when they are ready.
- I expect and get positive results from my writing.
- Writing is my joy. Readers and fans are my reward.
- Something amazing happens when I face the blank page.
- Something amazing happens when I revise and rework, and edit.
- Criticisms don’t worry me, I learn what I need, then forget and move on.
- I have a thick skin, but a level mind, and make the right decisions for my writing career every time.
- I enjoy sharing my passion for writing with others.
- I am productive and successful, with a new book always on the boil.
|The Artist’s Way|
|Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?|
|The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?|
This blog post participated in April 2013’s Blogging from A to Z Challenge, along with many other blogs on subjects as diverse as writing, foodie blogs or mummy blogs.
This blog post is part of a themed series or pack on Writer’s Core Habits. I acronym this as WCH or WCHP © . Do a search for these tags, and you will find more in the series.
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