Monday, July 13, 2015

Self Talk





When it comes to writing, what kinds of thoughts run through your mind?

Are they positive? Negative? A little of each?

I believe that we have a soundtrack that plays in our heads, one that affects our writing. Positive self talk can move our writing forward while the negative hinders our progress.

How do we determine what our soundtrack is? By paying attention to our thoughts. "Tuning in" is telling. I sometimes find myself skipping down that unproductive thought road. Joyce Meyer said, "Where the mind goes, the man follows." She's right.

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 keep my self talk on track:

Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. I have my ups and downs, but my bottom line is this - I know that I'm a writer. No matter how I feel, this is what God has called me to do. When I catch myself entangled in a lousy attitude, I work to shift the thoughts and mentally regroup.

Stay amidst positive influences - like treasured writer friends. For me, this is you all. 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 over the years.

Tap into your faith to stay grounded. This means keeping my ears attentive to God's word and meditating on His principles. Perspective is better when focused in the right place.

Use good resources. Blogs, books, continued education, etc. Glean from the insight of seasoned writers.  
 
Heed the advice of a cowboy. Cowboy preacher Gospel Bill tells his young audiences, "Garbage in, garbage out," When we sow negative things into our heads, we reap the same. If we sow the positive and valuable, we reap great long term benefits. I like this simple reminder.


Have you ever considered your writing soundtrack? What do you do to combat negative self talk in other areas?

Happy writing,

Karen


Photo credit: Free Images

21 comments :

  1. Great tips, Karen. When going through challenging times, it can be hard to shut off that negative talk. But you're right, it's important to replace it with positive ones. Sometimes I just shut it up by listening to books on tape while I do things like take a walk.

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  2. That simple reminder nails it. We are what we think.

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  3. Wonderful tips, Karen. I agree about replacing the negative thoughts with the positive ones. Like Alex said " We are what we think."

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  4. Wonderful tips! I'm all about the positive reinforcement.

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  5. Nothing better than a good heart-to-heart with yourself!

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  6. It's comforting to know others struggle with negative self-talk no matter how accomplished one may be in achieving dreams and goals! Doing and proving my self-talk untrue also helps me with the mind-battle.

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  7. Great tips...yeah, we do need to have some heart to heart with oneself at times.

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  8. I always love reading Alex's comments, amigo. :-) Hmm. We are what we eat and we are what we think. You've given great advice, as always. Ive had my doubts (thinking negatively). I get so down about it sometimes (still no publishing deal). But I am still plugging along. So that stands for something. Right? xoxoxoxo

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  9. Hi Karen. Writing almost always makes me happy. Looking for markets for freelance material can be a bit intimidating but the act of actually writing is not. Thanks for your tips, too! Susan

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  10. Hi Karen! Great article as always!....and a Happy (belated) Birthday to you!!

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  11. Such good tips, Karen. Negative thoughts are so defeating, if we listen to them we won't ever reach to do better. So I like my morning walks when I can fit them in. They help declutter my mind and lift my thoughts--and often inspire me to keep trying!

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  12. Natalie,
    I think shutting down that negative dialogue is an ongoing thing, you know? I like your idea of listening to something positive too. Keeping the mind occupied and "changing the subject" can help. :)

    Alex,
    Well said - we are indeed what we think. That alone should make us think, right? :)

    Rachna,
    Thanks so much. I agree, I like what Alex said. Been pondering that since I read it! :)

    Diane,
    I take that as high praise from an accomplished motivational speaker! :) Appreciate your input.

    Lee,
    Oh yes, you are so right! I think when we step back it helps gain perspective on how we process our thoughts. :)

    Lynn,
    It's comforting to know that, I agree! :) I don't know about you, but I get so wrapped in my own thoughts sometimes. Working to be more proactive in that respect.

    Kelly,
    Thanks a bunch! I don't know about you, but I often have to tell myself to snap out of the negative mindset. :)

    Robyn,
    Me too. :) His comment has been floating around in my head since I read his comment. Keep plugging away. You definitely have what it takes, amigo! :)

    Susan,
    I hear you. I love writing too, but the business of it, the reality of getting your work out there can be a whole different thing! :)

    Becky,
    Thanks, glad you liked it! Thanks also for the birthday wishes. It was a good day! :)

    Kenda,
    Thank you! I too, like to walk, not just for exercise but to clear my head, pray, and refocus. It does help motivate, doesn't it? :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  13. Karen: We all have times of negative self-talk, I have a friend who has a lot going on in her life at the moment. She has had times of thinking negatively about herself but she also has some close friends who take the time to show her that things are not as dark as they look. In order to combat that in our lives we need to memorize scripture. This helps us get our thoughts where they need to be and lifts up out of the doldrums.

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  14. I'm in a good place right now, and when you asked that first question the thought that came to mind was: fun. That's what writing should be, right? Why else would we do it?

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  15. Cecelia,
    You are so right. We do need to be proactive to stay on top of our thoughts. In the end, this is always a good thing! :)

    Crystal,
    Yes and amen, it should be fun.We are writers, after all, and we do this because we are good at it, which should give us joy too. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  16. Thanks for the wisdom, Karen! I think talking out loud helps counter-attack the negative thoughts that creep in the back door without our permission!

    YOU are a positive influence on all of us!
    Jen

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  17. I believe this 100%, Karen. It isn't always easy to push past the negative, but it is important to do it. I have some affirmations that I write down (holdovers from working through Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way.") and I'll write them sometimes five or six times until it stays with me.

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  18. Jen,
    Just sharing what helps me, you know? That's a good way to put it; they do creep in the back door and we need to be mindful! :)

    Lisa,
    I do think we build character this way. You're right, repetition really does help it to stay with us! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  19. Such a wonderful reminder and so timely for me. I am feeling quite defeated at present and Joyce Meyer did say it right: Where the mind goes, the man follows. In this case it's me. But again, I turn to the Word and am rising above the lows. Too many changes in life: circumstances and situations. As a creature of habit/routine, I find it hard to adjust quickly to sudden or 'only option' changes. Though I do adjust and adapt well, in the end :) Thanks Karen for this simple reminder!

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  20. Hi Karen - Excellent advice! How we think will ultimately translate into action. Negative self-talk is a pathway to abandoning the writing journey.

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  21. Joy,
    I will pray for you. Have had some ups and downs lately as well, and it can be hard to stay focused on the right things. I too, am not great when it comes to change. :) Glad this was helpful. Hang in there!

    Susan,
    Thanks so much. You are so right. Working through some things here as we speak. :) Negative self talk can lead to abandoning many journeys, for sure.

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!