Negative Self Talk For Writers

I never did get around to publishing a summary post for my Negative Self Talk series. I had reason this week to reread my article (these habits are easy to fall back into), so maybe it is a good time for other people to read them as well. Negative Self Talk for Writers: Negativising Negativising occurs when you focus only on the negative aspects of an experience. Negative Self Talk for Writers: Awfulizing Awfulizing occurs when you take a difficult situation or a problem and you turn it into a terrible, intolerable situation. Negative Self Talk for Writers: Catastrophizing Catastrophizing … Continue reading Negative Self Talk For Writers

Negative Self Talk for Writers: Obsessing

Obsessing occurs when you take a relatively minor problem or issue and dwell on it to the point of distraction. This can often happen in the writing process when you find yourself focusing on a sentence or paragraph that “just doesn’t work”. You focus all of your energy on this relatively small problem and then find yourself rushing through later work because you didn’t leave yourself enough time. To me this is different than awfulizing or perfectionism because you often know it is a minor issue, but you talk yourself into continuing to focus on it. Here is an example … Continue reading Negative Self Talk for Writers: Obsessing

Negative Self Talk for Writers: Shoulding

Shoulding occurs when you dwell on the things that you or others should or should not have done. This often happens when you are unhappy with the outcome of a situation, but can even come when you have gotten the results you wanted, but still second-guess your actions, methods or behaviors. For writers this can be a constant problem. We should work harder. We should promote ourselves better. We should find “a real job”. We shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition. We should comment on other people’s blogs more often. The list goes on and on. Here is an … Continue reading Negative Self Talk for Writers: Shoulding

Negative Self Talk for Writers: Right stepping

Right stepping occurs when you decide that your opinions and actions are the right ones and that you must continually prove this to others. You feel a constant pressure to be correct and will stand by your view at any cost. For writers, this often occurs when working on group projects. It can be an issue for people who feel that grammar and usage rules must be absolute. It can also creep into the writing of anyone who takes on issues, especially controversial ones. Right stepping is very prevalent in political blogging, as people feel that they need to not … Continue reading Negative Self Talk for Writers: Right stepping

Negative Self Talk for Writers: Fairesy

Fairesy occurs when you feel angry or resentful because you think that someone (or the world) has treated you unfairly. This happens frequently in the writing world when you feel that someone is benefiting from your work without proper credit or compensation. It also happens when you feel your work is being rejected or condemned for seemingly arbitrary reasons or when you believe that you are being held to a different standard than someone else. Here is an example of fairesy: Poor self talk: It isn’t fair! I just picked up the latest copy of Magazine X and they are … Continue reading Negative Self Talk for Writers: Fairesy

Negative Self Talk for Writers: Polarized thinking

Polarized thinking occurs when you believe that there are only right or wrong outcomes or views. When you view things in terms of pure good or pure bad it leads to unachievable standards and high stress levels. For writers, polarized thinking crops up when you find yourself basing your hopes and expectations on a single event or outcome such as a publication accepting your work, universally good reviews, a specific level of income, or even a certain level of satisfaction. Here is an example of polarized thinking: Poor self talk: Finishing this book of poetry is going to finally make … Continue reading Negative Self Talk for Writers: Polarized thinking

Negative Self Talk for Writers: Judging human worth

Judging human worth occurs when you decide your self-worth or another person’s self-worth based on a single trait or behavior. I do this a lot while driving. For writers, this frequently occurs when we are analyzing our own work or work habits. When judging others, it can often come up due to jealousy, such as seeing another writer succeeding by breaking one or more of the rules that we ourselves follow. Here is an example of judging human worth: Poor self talk: I can’t believe that Blogger X is so popular. All he does is talk about how successful he … Continue reading Negative Self Talk for Writers: Judging human worth

Negative Self Talk for Writers: Personalizing

Personalizing occurs when you convince yourself that you are the cause of other people’s problems and behavior. This is a frequent issue for bloggers, who often have to deal with angry comments or controversies that erupt after certain postings. It can also be a problem for freelancers. Freelancers and other people with very busy schedules will often feel as if their schedule is hurting their relationships. They assign any poor behavior or attitude by their family to the fact that they are so busy, rather than looking for other sources of the problem. Here is an example of personalizing: Poor … Continue reading Negative Self Talk for Writers: Personalizing

Negative Self Talk for Writers: Musterbation

Musterbation (great word) occurs when you insist that an event or a project turn out exactly the way you want it to, otherwise you will either get very upset or give up. This type of self-talk involves both high standards and a low threshold for overcoming obstacles. With writers this can often rear its head during long projects such as novels or manuals in which there are many possible obstacles. The crux of the problem hits when you decide that you can’t move forward unless a certain criteria is met, even though there are probably other ways to keep making … Continue reading Negative Self Talk for Writers: Musterbation

Negative Self Talk for Writers: Perfectionism

Perfectionism occurs when you hold yourself or others up to unreasonably high standards. Most people have heard of perfectionism, but many people don’t understand that perfectionism applies to both what they think of themselves and what they think of others. Expecting other people to live up to high standards that you set for them, often without their knowledge, will almost always end in frustration. For writers the problem often comes when you expect your writing to be perfect, your clients to be perfect, or your editor to be perfect. Here is an example of perfectionism: Poor self talk: My editor … Continue reading Negative Self Talk for Writers: Perfectionism