"I'm not good enough." Raise your hand if you're guilty of believing this phrase. Go ahead, this is a safe space. Each of us, at one point or another, has thought one or all of the following phrases that I'm going to share with you today.
As writers, our mindset is directly connected to our productivity. If we're clouded with negative thoughts, we can't possibly perform at our best. So, how do we flip these phrases around to create more positive, productive thinking? Let me show you, friends!
I'm Not Good Enough
Instead, Say: I show up and give my best effort.
This is the biggest lie of them all, my friends. We make the mistake of judging our own work before we even give it a chance, and then, we end up quitting altogether. That's bull, people. So, take the emotion out of it. Instead, show up and give your best effort. Then, allow yourself that sense of accomplishment.
I Don't Have Enough Time
Instead, Say: I prioritize my time for the things that I enjoy.
Let me say this as gently as possible. "I Don't Have Enough Time" is a bunch of baloney. However, I do believe that we struggle with prioritizing our time. Do you have ten minutes to spare? With only ten minutes, my friends, you can change your writing game. For more in-depth advice on this, read my post on the number one secret to writing faster.
I Don't Have Enough Training
Instead, Say: I can improve my writing through practicing daily.
Does education help you? Absolutely. Do you need an MFA to write a book? No, sir/ma'am. You'll only grow as a writer if you're actually writing, so just start, and let experience train you.
I Have Too Many Ideas
Instead, say: I'm excited to develop one idea until it's completed.
We love the idea of new. It's why we jump every time a new iPhone releases. However, it's this fascination with novelty that keeps us from finishing anything. If we jump every time we get a new story idea, we'll never complete anything. Instead, choose the idea that excites you the most, the idea that has the most potential, the idea that has the most staying power. Then, see it through to the end.
I Don't Have Any Good Ideas
Instead, Say: I haven't found my best idea yet, but I can use this time to brainstorm.
Maybe you haven't found the story idea with the it factor yet, and that's okay. Start with some character work or writing prompts. If you get in the habit of writing, it might spark an idea for you down the line.
I'm Not Smart Enough to Write a Book
Instead, Say: I have the dedication and the drive to write this book.
Not smart enough? No sir/ma'am. You don't have to be a literary genius to write a book. You simply need passion and dedication to the work. When we compare ourselves to the greats, we stunt our ability to make words happen. Do your best, and be proud!
I'm Not Creative Enough to Write a Book
Instead, Say: I'm excited for the challenge of writing and committed to the work.
I'm a firm believer that everyone has their own unique, creative spark. The idea that you're either creative or you're not is a big, fat lie. If you have an idea, you can make it happen. All you need to do is commit to the process. For more on this, read my post on first novel advice.
I Don't Know How to Start A Book
Instead, Say: I may not know how to start a book, but I have faith in my writing ability.
Writing a book is difficult, of course, but it's doable. If starting is holding you back, then write around that. Start from the end and write your way backwards. You can try writing from the middle, too. Whatever strategy gets words on the page, do that. Read this post on how to start your novel for extra tips.
I'll Write My Book When/After (Blank)
Instead, Say: Every day, I will take small steps toward my goal of writing a novel.
We need to stop seeing writing a book as a one-step process. We feel like we need a whole writing retreat or a week of coffee-shop writing or to quit our day jobs. You can start now, one step at a time.
[Tweet "Stop waiting for when or after to write your novel. Start now. @blotsandplots #writetip"]
No One Will Read My Book
Instead, Say: Finding an audience for my story will be an exciting step in my journey.
No one? No one, out of 7.3 billion people on Earth, will read your book? Even if your book doesn't sell, even if you have to keep your day job forever, I bet you can find one person who will not only read, but love, your book. When it comes to your book's audience, you only need a few, loyal readers.
People Don't Want to Read Another Book About (BLANK)
Instead, Say: I have a fresh, new voice to bring to a familiar subject.
Vampires? Zombies? Romances? The fact is that all stories have been done before, in one way or another. It's what you bring to the text that separates your book from the rest. Don't be afraid to tackle a topic that's saturated in the market. Write what you enjoy writing.
I'll Never Write as Well as (BLANK)
Instead, Say: I want to write to the best of my abilities.
There's no better measure of success than yourself. Why? Because you can't be anyone else. Easy concept, hard to compute. The comparison game is an alluring one, but it's one we have to fight. Write as well as you can, for as long as you can, and watch where it takes you.
It's Too Late to Start My Writing Career
Instead, Say: It's never too late to start my writing career.
Have you always wanted to write a book, but never got around to it? Why not start now? There's no wrong time to start your writing career, and saying it's too late is the fear talking. Grab a pen. Grab a notebook. Just write.
I Haven't Researched Enough To Write This Book
Instead, Say: I can't study everything, but I can apply what I've learned to my work.
There is such a thing as too much research. You can't know everything there is to know about The Middle Ages, okay? But, at the heart of every historical novel, there are real human connections. Now, that, you can write without any research at all. Don't let research keep you from getting your job done.
I'll Never Get an Agent/Editor/Publishing Deal
Instead, Say: When the timing's right, I'll find the best publishing path for me.
So, you're afraid of rejection. That's completely natural. But when it comes to picking your publishing path, let's take the stress out of it. If you're rejected at first, try again. Be J.K. Rowling. If you really can't wait, take a look into self-publishing.
Are you thinking positively yet?
Discussion Time: What positive steps can you take to writing your novel today? Share your affirmations with us in the comments below!