Are they positive?
Somewhere in between?
I believe that we all have a soundtrack, one that plays in our head on a regular basis. I also believe that this affects our writing. A positive soundtrack can move our writing ahead and a negative one can hinder our progress.
How do we determine what our soundtrack is? By paying attention to our thoughts. Tuning in is telling; I sometimes find myself jogging down an unproductive road. Joyce Meyer says, "Where the mind goes, the man follows." Nuff said.
What do we do if our soundtrack is primarily negative? How do we refocus and change the tune? Here are a few things that help me keep an upbeat attitude:
1) Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Sure, I have my ups and downs, but my bottom line is this - I know that I am a writer. No matter how I feel, this is what God has called me to do. When I catch myself tapping my toe to a lousy soundtrack, I work to shift the thoughts and mentally regroup.
2) I surround myself with positive influences, like treasured writer friends (this would be you). You've offered a wealth of love and support. It warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes when I think of the encouragement you've given to me.
3) I tap into my faith to stay grounded. For me, this means keeping my ears attentive to God's word and meditating on His principles. My perspective is better when my focus is in the right place.
4) I avail myself to good resources - blogs, books on the craft, workshops, etc. I glean from the thoughts of seasoned writers like Jennifer Brown Banks in her post on Overcoming Setbacks. E-Newsletters like Hope Clark's Funds for Writers is another winner, featuring encouraging articles, markets, and links. Author Tony Eldridge's blog offers insight and reality wrapped in a package that says, "Yes, you can do this!
5) I heed the words of cowboy preacher Gospel Bill, who tells his young audiences, "Garbage in, garbage out," If we sow negative things into our heads, we will reap the same. If we sow the positive and valuable, that's what we will reap. GB's simple phrase helps keep my thoughts in check.
Have you ever considered your writing soundtrack? Or the soundtrack in other areas of your life? What do you do to combat a negative soundtrack?
Photo credit: d-s-n http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1154488