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Mindset for Writers


What is Mindset? 

Merriam-Webster defines mindset as “a mental attitude or inclination.”  It’s the way you tend to think about things. Your mindset can be positive or negative or somewhere in between. It can change from season to season or situation to situation. But the thing is, you can control it. 

Your mindset is a valuable asset or a potential death sentence  in every aspect of life—relationships, health, career—and can be especially important to writers. Ok, perhaps ‘potential death sentence’ is a tad dramatic, but you get my meaning.

Take me for instance. I’ve always been passionate about writing, but I told myself for years that there wasn’t time. I even felt guilty when I took the time. 

I had a husband and a job, commitments to family and friends. It seemed selfish to devote time and money to something that would always just be a dream, especially once children came into the mix. I became a full-time homemaker and later homeschooler. 

With that attitude, my book would have remained “just a dream” for all eternity. Even after my first book was published, I still had a bit of that attitude, and it was years before I realized the problem was my limiting beliefs. 

I decided to replace my negative thoughts with positive ones each day, not about writing but everyday life. It trickled over to all areas of my life. Positive thoughts led to positive actions. I decided to submit to contests and anthologies, then went for a spot on my Writers’ Guild’s blog staff. It is my first year as editor. 

I make time to write (and edit) nearly every day. I’ve published four more books, designed a line of prayer journals (11 out this year), started two blogs, and I have several more books in the works. I’ve taken steps to try and figure out marketing. Time Management and Mindset have been key. 

Mindset for Writers 

So, how can you use your mindset to your advantage as a writer? 

A writer’s mindset needs to support creativity, productivity, and perseverance.

Start by noticing your limiting beliefs. 

Thoughts like:

  • I’ll never finish this book. 
  • This is hard. 
  • I don’t have the skills. 
  • I’m not a good writer. 
  • I’ll never sell my books. 
  • I don’t have time to write. 

Replace those with: 

  • I haven’t finished my book yet, but I will. (Unleash the power of yet!) 
  • I can do hard things. 
  • I have the skills, and I’ll learn any others I need. 
  • I am a good writer, and I will get better with time. 
  • I will sell a million copies of my book!
  • Writing is important to me. I will prioritize my writing time and make it happen. 

Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.”

Denzel Washington said, “If you don’t fail, you’re not even trying.”

They are right, folks. 

Find some motivational quotes and write them on sticky notes. Put them in places where you spend a lot of time. Read them. Repeat them. Soon you’ll have shifted your mindset. 

Set small goals. Make a to-do list. Roll your sleeves up and get to work. You CAN do it! 

I’m still working on my mindset. Marketing isn’t my strong suit. But I will keep at it until it is. I hope you, too, will keep at it, Dear Reader, until your weaknesses become your strengths. It can help to envision your future self having accomplished the task at hand. Believe you can and you will. 

Shifting your mindset is something you can achieve.

Here is a resource you may find beneficial if you would like to dig more into changing your mindset: Mindset for Authors Mini Course by Book Marketing and Mindset Coach Sue Campbell

Trista Herring Baughman is a blogger and Children’s writer. She is the Managing Editor of Writing from the Peak (PPW’s blog)  and  Managing Editor of Mississippi Folklore, a collaborative collection of Mississippi folklore and legends in a bi-weekly blog. Her books, The Magic TelescopeHalloween Night and Other Poemsand Zombiesaurs (which she co-illustrated with her sons), can be found at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Trista on her website.

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