Love Yourself, Love Your Writing

 

We're awfully hard on ourselves, our own worst enemies.   At least I am!  And I suspect I'm not Heart_light_blackground_518497_hso different from other creatives: I'm judgmental of myself --hyper critical at the best of times.  My thoughts run all over:

  • That thing I just said?  How idiotic!
  • What a lump for not speaking up.
  • Oh god, I look bad today!

And when it comes to my writing, it's even worse, because the voices are so insidious and ingrained.  It is such a familiar thought pattern that sometimes I don't even notice it.  When I do, it runs something like this:

  • This work isn't good enough.
  • Is that the right word? You idiot, that's not the right word.
  • They're not going to like it.
  • It's not good enough to sell.

And so on and so forth.  I'm sure you can add some of your own to the list!  (And let me be perfectly clear here--there is a difference between unloving critical thoughts and loving critical thoughts--the latter help us hone our skills, rewrite until the work shines, and strive for excellence.)

Do you know anybody who is as openly judgmental and critical as the voice in your head?  I don't.  If I spent all day every day with someone as condemning  as the voice in my head, I'd be physically withered at the end of the day.  And yet, that's exactly what's happening in our brains.

The solution?  Try turning love on it.  Warning: this is not easy.  And if you're successful at it, the practice will change your life.  Also, it's a process--you have to keep going back at it over and over again.  You have to consistently apply it to your life and your writing.

So herewith is a process to apply to self-judgment:

1.  Become aware.  Pay attention to those nasty little comments flinging about your brain.

2.  Fight back.  Sometimes called denials, this is when instead of cowering under the onslaught of all those vicious words, you make a stand and refuse to accept them.  Mentally uttering "That thought I do not want" (a Course in Miracles saying) is one way to do this.

3.  Form a new thought.  And then love bomb your brain with it, constantly, all day, and especially every time the old thought comes up.  Maybe something like:

  • I am powerful.  (My writing is powerful.)
  • I am enough.  (My writing is enough.)
  • I am a creator.
  • Whatever thought works for your individual circumstance.

The idea being to let thoughts like these become the constant soundtrack running in the background.  I know it's woo-woo, and it's ever so much more pleasant to think this way than the other.

4. It might get worse before it gets better.  Because old negative thoughts don't go without a fight.  And one way they fight is to get stronger when they fear being eradicated. But don't fall for their devious plan.

5.  Stick with it.  As I said, this process takes time.  Those fearful thoughts didn't get there overnight.  They lodged in your brain over a lifetime. 

 What do you think?  Willing to give it a try?  Or do you have another technique for quieting that voice?  Please comment.

 

 Photo by Victory to the People.


Greater Thoughts About Writing

Estock_commonswiki_126921_lI've been thinking a lot about the novel I'm writing lately.  Thinking, not writing, because with the demands of the Emma Jean book release and attendant promotion, there's not been a lot of time to write.  I knew this going in and decided to give myself a free pass on working on the novel this month. 

The thinking is going well, thank you.  Just yesterday I uncovered a major issue with the novel and starting figuring out ways to fix it.   This is all going on in my head.  Well, there's a little bit of process writing around it, but no official work on the actual novel.

Along with thinking about my novel, I've been thinking about thinking.  For a couple of reasons.

First, I'm taking a class at my church and one of the things I've learned is this: a greater thought always trumps (pretty sure that's not how they put it exactly) a lesser thought.  In other words, if you truly allow a greater thought in to your packed brain, it will ultimately dissolve the lesser thought.

To me, a greater thought is one that speaks to our higher nature and knowledge.  The one that knows you truly are an unlimited being.  The one that connects you to your concept of the divine. So, you can replace I'll never be a published novelist with something like I am happily published now.   Like that.

I know, I know, this is basic stuff, Affirmations 101.  But the twist for me is that you don't have to spend a lifetime uncovering and eradicating all the bad thoughts and limiting beliefs we harbor.  This, for me, is huge, seeing as how there are huge industries built around getting rid of those beliefs.  And a lot of us hold onto a limiting belief that its our limiting beliefs that are holding us back.

But the good news is that you really can change your mind.  You can replace a lesser thought with a greater thought.  And that brings us to Reason #2 that I'm thinking about thinking: I'm reading Deepak Chopra's new book, Super Brain.  In it he and his co-author, Rudy Tanzi, talk about how to maximize the brain's functions, utilizing the huge leaps in our understanding of brain science.   They talk about reshaping the brain, saying, "It means being more mindful of your own thoughts and feelings and becoming more proactive in taking charge of your brain."

Pa dum.

Being mindful of your own thoughts and more proactive about it is exactly what I'm talking about here.  And honestly?  Taking the attitude that I would find and fix the problems with my novel if I just stayed open, rather than grumbling that something was wrong and I probably would never figure it out is exactly why all my brilliant thoughts have occurred.

I'm still working my way through Super Brain, but I really like it so far.  My buddy Deepak (don't know him from Adam, but I follow him on Twitter, so, you know, that means we're friends) is good at equating the science with the spiritual point of view, which, of course, I love. And the overwhelming message of the book is so positive--that we can retrain our brains for maximum performance at any age.

All of my thinking about thinking is still a work in progress, so I'd love your thoughts.  How do you maximize the old noodle?

**And if you would like to buy my published novel, click here.  And thank you so much in advance.

Image by Wyglif.