Do you want to stop thinking negatively about your writing or your ability to write? I want you stop thinking negative thoughts too! They do no good, and can be really harmful to your progress as a writer. So let’s discuss how to stop those negative writing thoughts.
The answer may not be what you think. But it probably won’t be as hard or complicated as you might be thinking either. It might be impossible to stop yourself from initially thinking a negative thought. So what can you do? You can do something with that thought so that it doesn’t become recurring. You can keep it from becoming something you repeatedly tell yourself, something you eventually believe to be true. And you can replace it with something positive you do want to believe.
Because NOTHING negative you tell yourself is ever true. It’s not a fact. It’s simply a thought that you decide to think or to replace. No negative thought is something you should ever believe about yourself. So, I’m gong to share with you five ways to stop believing those negative writing thoughts!
5 Ways to Stop Your Negative Writing Thoughts
1. Create a Negative Thoughts Jar
Find a mason jar, a pickle jar, or any container that you think fits this purpose well. Every time you have a negative thought that you want to get rid of (that’s every negative thought!) write it on an index card, sticky note, or slip of paper and throw it in your negative thoughts jar. Get rid of the thought. Tell yourself that the thought has a place in the jar and it no longer belongs in your head.
The purpose of the jar is to help you stop thinking negative writing thoughts by giving you another place to store them. However, this method may not work for everyone. It probably wouldn’t work for me. I wouldn’t want to see my negative thoughts. I’d feel anxious or miserable if I had a full jar of bad thoughts sitting a few inches away from me. If you feel like having your negative thoughts visible will have any adverse impact on you, consider one of the other methods below. I’ve heard this method to work for some, but it’s definitely not for everyone.
2. Type Your Negative Thoughts and hit DELETE
Open your favorite writing software or any word processor and just start typing all your negative thoughts. Don’t stop to think about them, just type as fast as you can. Get it all out of your system and onto the page. Then, and this is the best part in my opinion, hit delete.
The good thing about hitting delete and erasing all those negative thoughts is that you can’t go back and reread or dwell on them. Let hitting delete act as a symbolic gesture that you are also deleting these thoughts from your mind.
Soak in the beauty of that blank page. A fresh start. Anything is possible. All those negative thoughts are gone. They don’t exist anymore and you can fill the page with better thoughts. This would be a good exercise to do at the beginning of a writing session if you want to then fill the page with your story.
3. Start a Negative Thoughts Journal
If you like to put pen to paper, writing your negative thoughts in a notebook might be a good option. Writing by hand is a different experience than typing. I often journal when I am trying to make sense of my emotions. I find that it helps me slow down my thoughts and makes it easier to process them. This might be a good option if you want to release your negative thoughts, but also understand what might be causing them. Writing by hand activates more parts of your brain than typing.
If you start a journal, please don’t go back and read it or dwell on your negative thoughts. That is not the purpose of writing them down. Like the negative thoughts jar, if the idea of having the thoughts accessible doesn’t appeal to you, destroy the journal pages. Run them through a shredder or burn them. Destroying the negative thoughts in the journal will help you remember not to think them anymore.
4. Write a Negative Thoughts Letter
Writing a letter addressing your negative thoughts can be a therapeutic way to feel like you are sharing your feelings without actually letting anyone know. Although, if you think it would be helpful to share your thoughts with a real person that is a great option too. Talking it out with a friend who will listen might be just the right way for you to process these thoughts. However, if you don’t have someone you feel comfortable talking to or you don’t want to share them with anyone real, a letter is a good alternative. Address it to yourself, your mind, or something else. Once you write the letter you can stamp and seal it, make up an address, and stick them in a box or destroy them.
You could also write a letter to your negative writing thoughts and tell those pesky nuisances why they are false or what you’re going to do to stop believing them!
5. Record Your Positive Writing Thoughts
No matter which option you prefer for expressing your negative thoughts, I hope you will also chose to record your positive thoughts. It can be helpful to express your negative writing thoughts and get them out of your system. But it will be so much more helpful if you replace each negative thought with a positive thought.
So, for each of the methods above, I’m going to give you an alternate version for positive thoughts.
- Negative Thoughts Jar: Create a separate jar for positive thoughts. OR use the same jar but different colored paper for your positive thoughts and your negative thoughts. For every negative thought you put in your jar, try to add at least two positive thoughts!
- Typing Your Thoughts: Once you hit delete, write all your positive thoughts. Every nice thing you believe or someone has told you. When you are done, SAVE the document so you have something positive to look back to when your negative thoughts want to creep back in.
- Thoughts Journal: Start your negative thoughts at the end of the journal and positive thoughts at the beginning. As you fill the journal and destroy the negative thoughts, you will only be left with your positive thoughts.
- Write a Letter: If you write a letter full of negative thoughts, be sure to write a letter full of positive ones. Give yourself all the encouragement you want to hear. Tell yourself what you do well and what things you do believe you are capable of. Save this letter to read whenever you feel discouraged.
How Will You Stay Positive?
I know I’ve said it, but I’m going to say it again. There is power in stopping your negative thoughts. But there is so much more in replacing them with positive thoughts. You don’t just want to stop thinking the bad things. You deserve to know and truly believe how wonderful and capable you are. You may not know everything about writing, but even if you are a beginner you are good at something. So focus on what you are good at, and remind yourself that you can learn what you don’t know.
Thinking positively about your writing and yourself as a writer will take time, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Start with one or two of your most persistent negative thoughts. Replace them with something simple that you can really believe about yourself. Doing so will transform you from a writer who struggles into a writer who is ready to take charge and make progress towards their writing goals. You can do this!
Which method will you try to stop your negative thoughts and replace them with something positive? Be sure to comment below!