The origins of this holiday seem to be a bit murky. Legend has it that an entrepreneur founded it in 2003 to encourage others to overcome negative thinking. Whatever the origin, I’m always up for an excuse to celebrate and inject some positive vibes into the world – complete with cheesy images!
Too often, we creative types succumb to negative thoughts. When you consider our introspective natures and the sensitive subjects with which we work, it makes sense. We put so much of ourselves into our craft, it’s difficult not to take things personally.
Today, whether you’re reading this on Positive Thinking Day or not, I challenge you to take a negative thought and reframe it in a positive way. The thought you choose will be personal to you, but here are a few that I’ve dealt with in my writing life:
Why even write a novel? It’s going to suck.
My first novel may not be my best, but I can always improve. (Longer pep talk here.)
Everything I write is garbage.
I’m still learning as an author, but at least I’m practicing my craft!
That author writes faster/has better books/earns better reviews/makes more sales than me.
That author is doing really well. What can I learn from them to improve my own writing? (More on dealing with jealousy here.)
I’m never going to make it as an author.
Overnight success is a myth. I can make it if I work hard, establish industry relationships, and learn to market myself and my work.
I can’t write. I have writer’s block/am unmotivated/am tired/am busy.
I am taking a mental health break from my writing. I will return on [insert date] and write [insert goal]. In the meantime, I do what I must to unblock myself and I will not guilt myself. NOTE: This is not permission to procrastinate. There is a difference between caring for your health and laziness.
I have no idea what I’m doing. Any minute my readers will call me out as a fake.
Imposter syndrome is normal, and even big-name authors feel this way. As long as I’m still learning and improving, that’s all anyone can expect of me. (Here are a few mantras to beat imposter syndrome.)
I wrote one book. It was a fluke/failure.
If I wrote one book, I can write another. It will be even better, because I have grown as a writer. Next-to-no first books are break-out successes. I can become successful over time, with a respectable back list, strong writing, and smart business practices.
Still feeling negative? Here a few resources to help you out of your funk:
The Successful Author Mindset: A Handbook for Surviving the Writer’s Journey by Joanna Penn – I gave it 5 stars!
Why You Have to Be Your Biggest Fan – The Smarter Artist Podcast
25 Things That Will Definitely Make You Smile via Buzzfeed
40 Powerful Mantras to Help You Think Positive via Marc & Angel Hack Life