I want you to think of the moment you first decided you wanted to be a writer. How old were you? What did it feel like to realize for the first time that you enjoyed putting pen to paper? That you had story ideas or characters in your head trying to get out? What did it feel like to discover a love for language and all the ways words can be put together to mean something?
You probably felt eager and excited.
Now, I want you to find a picture of that writer. Please take a few moments to go get a picture. It will make this experience so much more meaningful.
If you really can’t find a picture, think about the person you were when you first realized you loved writing.
Maybe you are looking at a picture of yourself as a child, or yourself last week.
What would you tell that eager writer? I want you to stare at that picture (or close your eyes and imagine that excited, new writer) and tell them what you would want them to hear.
A Unique Strategy of Positive Self-Talk for Writers
Positive Self-Talk to Your Past Self
What did you say to your past self?
I’m guessing you said kind things to that eager writer. Maybe you told them you believed in them. Maybe you shared your favorite piece of advice, or let them know their hard work could pay off.
You probably didn’t discourage them. Tell them they were no good. That they’d never get published. I doubt you told them to give up.
I was in second grade when I first knew that I wanted to be a writer. In school we had the opportunity to write a story and get “published.” Each child was given a day to be an author and their parents could come to class on the day they got to read their story to their classmates. I had written stories in first grade and loved journal time, but in second grade I got to be an author. And that was just the coolest thing ever!
When I look at this little girl, I would give her all the encouragement and love I could offer. I would tell her to aim high and dream big. I would tell her that it might not be easy, but I knew she could be successful. I would tell her that I believed in her.
I would NEVER want to discourage her. I would never want to tell her she couldn’t be a writer. That she wasn’t smart enough or good enough. I wouldn’t dare tell her to give up. I would never call her stupid or let her think that her story is worthless.
Positive Self-talk Today
Yet, I do this to myself all the time! And I doubt I’m alone. Why do we do that? Why are we so negative towards ourselves?
Cause here is the big truth bomb, that little girl is still me. Every time I discourage myself, I’m discouraging her. Every time I tell myself I’m not good enough, I’m telling her she’s not good enough.
And I don’t want to do that anymore.
Look at your picture again. That’s still you. So whatever you tell yourself today, is what you are telling that sweet, eager writer. If you were telling them negative things, please stop. Be kind to yourself.
I’m putting this picture of myself in my writing space so I can always remember that what I would want her to hear is what I need to tell myself. If it will help you speak kind words to yourself, you should do the same!
Inspiration for this post came from a motivational YouTube video called The Things We Tell Ourselves.