This year I’m blogging my book De-Stress Your Writing Life. You can read it for free on Creativity’s Workshop every Friday. In today’s post we continue the chapter Taking Control of Your Mindset. You can read the first two parts of the chapter here and here.
Write a Personalized Pep Talk
We all love a positive, inspiring pep talk. Seeing as this chapter is about taking control of your mindset, let’s look at how you can create a personalized pep talk to motivate yourself whenever you need!
The four steps to create this pep talk are:
- Step 1 – Identify your biggest problem.
- Step 2 – Decide what you need to hear.
- Step 3 – Write your pep talk.
- Step 4 – Refer to your pep talk regularly.
Identifying Your Biggest Problem
For a pep talk to truly motivate you, it needs to address a fear or barrier you’re currently facing in your writing. It needs to take a negative thought process that plagues you and turn it into a positive, inspirational mindset that propels you into your writing.
Look back over the previous chapter where we discussed fears and barriers you might be facing. Do any of the symptoms listed feel familiar to you? Decide which fear or barrier causes you the most trouble.
Once you’ve identified your biggest problem, you’re ready for the next step!
Decide What You Need to Hear
Before you start writing your pep talk, think about what emotional needs are going unfulfilled at the moment. Are you waiting for permission to start? Are you looking for direction in your project? Are you feeling uncomfortable or disappointed about your writing?
Take another look at the emotional needs listed in this chapter and see which resonate with you. (See Part 1 and Part 2 of the chapter.)
- What do I need to hear?
- What do I wish someone would say to me?
- What are some of my favorite quotes?
- What would be the most inspiring/comforting thing I could be told right now?
Note down your answers to these questions so you can incorporate them into your pep talk.
Write Your Pep Talk
Now that you’ve identified what your pep talk needs to address, you can start writing it using this outline:
- Acknowledge the situation. Right at the beginning, acknowledge the fear or barrier you’re trying to overcome. Clearly describe the difficulties you’re facing, including the thoughts and emotions you’re battling with. Before you can change your mindset and feel more positive about the situation, you need to feel understood.
- Present a different way of looking at the situation. Here is where you use the answers from step two and form them into a logical, inspirational whole. Use quotes, word pictures and exciting phrases. Capture your imagination and describe success in vivid detail.
- Finish with a flourish. Use your last paragraph or sentence to summarize your pep talk. What you read last will be remembered first so keep it punchy.
Would you like to see that outline in action? Here’s a sample pep talk using the steps above.
Yes, the white page looks scary. It seems there are so many possibilities and as soon as I start writing I’ve committed to a fixed path.
What if it’s wrong? What if the idea doesn’t work?
But stop and think: What if it’s right? What if it does work?
The blank page holds no possibilities. It’s just a blank page. I hold the possibilities. My words hold the possibilities.
Beatrix Potter once said, “There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.”
My words are not set in stone. They can be changed, deleted and retyped whenever I want. They can lead me to new ideas, characters, places and plots.
My words never have to be perfect. They just have to be.
Now it’s your turn. Imagine you are your future-self writing to your current-self. Say what you need to hear.
Refer to Your Pep Talk Regularly
While the act of writing yourself a pep talk can be very cathartic, it will be most effective if you refer to it regularly, especially just before you start writing.
You might try:
- Printing it out on good quality paper and sticking it to your wall.
- Making it into an image to use for your computer desktop.
- Recording yourself reading it so you can play it back when you need a boost.
Do whatever you have to do in order to keep those encouraging words in front of you. After all, you went to a lot of trouble to write just what you needed to hear.
Completing a pep talk isn’t the end of the story though. It’s just part of keeping your balance as a writer. Next week we’ll look at what it means to be truly balanced.
Add your comment below. What is the most inspiring/comforting thing you could be told right now?
I’ve fallen a few months behind with my fiction writing schedule, but my priority at the moment is to make sure I’m setting achievable goals for the coming months. My De-Stress Your Writing Life posts are one of my priorities because I promised I’d always have something encouraging here for you to read on a Friday.
If you’ve found the above helpful, please either send the information on to a fellow writer you feel would benefit or leave a little donation in the kitty to help things along.
Everyone who donates will receive a free electronic copy of the book once it has reached completion.
Thanks for dropping by.