7 Ways to Keep a Positive Writing Outlook

A Lovely Spot to Write on Holiday

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just getting started in this business, you probably have days where you think you can never do it.  Everybody does.  Here are some practical little steps to take that will help you succeed.

1.  Feed your creative soul often by looking at beautiful things. Use a microscope to find the inner beauty in a piece of apple skin or touch a scarf out of the softest yarn you can find. Revel in the tactile beauty.
2.  Set yourself up for success every day. On your to-do list put easy as well as hard writing chores to do and cross them off as you finish. Lots of crossing off makes you see how much you are doing, thus warming you up to do more.
3.  Sign up for Twitter and find other writers. You won’t feel so isolated. They know the drill and they’ll make you laugh as they tell their stories. Get out and connect.
4.  Find a writing group either online or in person. You can see what others are writing and learn from the group’s discussions.
5.  Go to conferences and connect with other writers. I’ve been to two conferences this year, both of which have energized me. I’ve met editors and agents, published authors and wannabes, and the whole process has helped me hunker down and do yet another edit. (Misery loves company?)
 6.  Set goals for your long pieces and stick to them. Eventually you’ll finish.  I mean the kind of goals where you say you’ll write 2 hours a day, not the kind where you say you’ll have a book written in a year.  Make the goal small and attainable and the larger goal will just happen.

7.  Surround yourself with positive, successful people in the writing world and tell yourself you can  make it, too.  If you work hard enough, you can!  I cannot stress this one enough.  Get away from the naysayers and those who don’t feed your creative soul.

What tricks do you use to stay positive?  Have you ever let the negative stuff flow in order to reach deep inside you for your writing?  Consider leaving a comment to tell about it.

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19 thoughts on “7 Ways to Keep a Positive Writing Outlook

  1. ‘Make the goal small and attainable and the larger goal will just happen.’ Elaine, so true, so true. Thank you for the reminder.

    And thank you for permission to put easy goals on my To-Do list.

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  2. This is great advice and I think it can be applied to anyone, even non-writers! Surrounding ourselves with beautiful things, positive people and setting ourselves up for success is sound advice I can apply to any part of my life!

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  3. Elaine, I love your idea of putting smaller, easily attainable goals on the list to feel our small accomplishments. Great idea. And you are so right, surrounding ourselves with positive people is so important. I am always recharged when I spend time with writers and read posts like this!

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  4. I am so fortunate to have friends who believe in me and encourage me in my writing. My pastor’s wife was the first one to tell me I need to write a book on prayer with all the things I had written. One of our intercessory team members also said she thought I should put all of it into a book. And I have done just that. It still needs some tweaking, but for the most part it is finished. We use parts of it in our prayer meetings. I now am attempting to craft a query letter that will catch an editor’s eye. That’s a task almost equal to writing part of the book – to get it just right, that is.

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      • Yes, I do need to do some research. It’s one thing (not the only thing, though) that I procrastinate on. Not a good habit, I admit. I really need to set myself some deadlines for the things I need to finish, otherwise they will never get done.

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  5. Thumbs up for #4. Though I would say that an in person writing group is important. There’s a tendency to become anonymous when conversing online, no matter how much personal information you give.

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  6. Hi Elaine. Good suggestions. Along with your ideas, one of the things I used to be very good at was having my “writing environment”: for me this would include a small writing area; dim lighting with a lit candle; soft, ambiant music and; a pot of herbal tea. I found this would help get me into my writing space.

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  7. I love crossing things off the list. Should put “make coffee” on there, just so it looks like I’ve achieved something this month. Margie Lawson’s “winner” and “superstar” lists saved me because I can scratch off everything on my “winner” list and feel like a winner and even if I don’t get to everything on the “superstar” list, I’m still a “winner”! Great list today Elaine!

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    • Thanks, Scott. And thanks for visiting. I’d like to urge others to check out your site as well. I love that comment, don’t get it right, get it down. How often do we write furiously hoping the words won’t dry up before we get them on the page? There’s always revision, right?

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  8. I’m sorry Elaine, I just can’t bring myself to Twitter. I wholeheartedly agree with you on the rest though 😉

    Could I add one to your list? #8 Allow yourself time to just sit and daydream. Sometime writing is like building a snowman. You have to roll the ideas around for a while in order to find their form.

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    • HI Dale! I love that. Of course sometimes I am in danger of rolling the ideas around so long that they wear out and I never get them down on paper. Still I love your number eight! Thanks for commenting.

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