Many people understand a mindset to be ‘a collection of thought processes which are characteristic to an individual or a group’ (Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus).
However, there is an important missing ingredient from this definition.
Mindset is not just about your thoughts, it is also very much about your emotions.
So what you think is crucial but what you feel is even more significant when it comes to writing a book for publication, and indeed with everything you do in life.
Thought and emotion are an immensely powerful combination which can either work for, or against, what you want to achieve with your writing.
On her 40th birthday, Jane decided that the book she had thought about writing for so long could not be put off any longer.
It felt like ‘now or never’ and she was determined to see it through to completion.
As a professional person who had an interest in personal development, Jane knew all about setting goals and positive thinking.
So she created a plan and scheduled time in her diary to begin writing.
Three months later with only a few pages of notes and nothing concrete achieved, she approached me for help.
She was dismayed by the fact that despite her best efforts and a strong mental determination to write this book, it just wasn’t happening.
It was especially frustrating for her as she was a disciplined person who usually found it easy to stick to her plans.
It wasn’t long before the coaching process revealed that although she had gathered her thoughts about writing her book, the way she felt about the whole process was entirely different.
Deep down she didn’t believe she could write or that she had anything interesting to say let alone that anyone else would be interested to read her words.
She also felt she had no chance whatsoever of being published and discovered that sheer willpower didn’t work. The harder she pushed, the less progress she made!
Once she realised what was happening she felt an enormous sense of relief.
She was then able to let go of the enormous pressure she had been putting herself under.
As a result, we were able to work on releasing the anxieties she was feeling so that she could embrace a healthier and more holistic approach to writing her book.
With the right awareness and support, she was able to shift her mindset – thoughts and feelings – onto a new level which ultimately led to an opening of the way for her writing to flow.
She is now enjoying writing more than ever before and making good progress with her manuscript.
Jane’s story is not an isolated example. When it comes to writing your book for publication, your mindset will literally make or break your success.
So here are 3 tips to help you review your current mindset and cultivate the right conditions to support your creative expression on the page:
- Ask yourself this question: how do I feel about being someone who writes / a writer / an author?
Do you believe in yourself as a writer, if not all of the time, at least most of the time?
If not, how many ways can you come up with to support a shift in your mindset around this question?
You could write in your journal to download your anxieties and clear space for new thoughts and feelings to arise.
Try remembering a time when you did feel strong and confident about something and then apply those feelings to yourself as a writer.
- Check in regularly …
It is important to check in with how you are thinking and feeling about your writing on a regular basis.
Every time you sit down to write take a few moments to bring your awareness to your mindset before you start.
Develop a range of strategies to shift your mindset if you need to and seek support if you want to fast-track your progress.
- Make sure you are in alignment – body, mind, emotions and soul!
You will know if you are in alignment because your life will be full of synchronicity.
The right people and opportunities will arrive just when you need them.
A book will fall open at a page with the information you were looking for.
Of course life isn’t always that smooth. Yet if you constantly feel like you are pushing a snowball up a mountain, you can be sure that something is out of synch somewhere!
Get used to checking what’s going on within you at every level and then take action as required.
Minding your mindset will enable you to do what you are here to do and write what you are here to write.
Enjoy the journey!
© Julia McCutchen 2009. All Rights Reserved.
If you want to use this article in your ezine or on your website I’d be happy for you to do so as long as you use the complete article, including the copyright line, and include the following paragraph in its entirety:
Julia McCutchen is the creator of the How to Write the Ultimate Book Proposal Online Masterclass Course and the author of The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication. A former managing director and publisher, she now works as a writers’ coach, mentor and professional publishing consultant. She has over 20 years’ experience and a publishing track record which includes UK # 1 and international bestsellers. Julia is passionate about opening the way for you to find your true voice, discover your Self in the process, and write consciously, creatively, successfully and with soul! For more information and to access free articles and audios for writers, visit www.JuliaMcCutchen.com