Claim it! Visualizing Your Goals And the Power of What we Speak

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Happy Wednesday, Everybody!  It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means that it’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. The co-hosts for May are Stephen Tremp, Fundy Blue, MJ Fifield, Loni Townsend, Bish Denham, Susan Gourley, and Stephanie Faris. If you can, stop by their blogs and see what their up to these days:)

So. I’ve been working on The Novel That Is Taking Longer To Finish Than Any Novel In The History of Novels. There are a myriad of reasons why it’s taking me so long to finish this book. Among them:

  1. Two pregnancies in two years = 18 months of pregnancy brain.
  2. A cell phone swiping toddler (who is also a well known flip flop thief) who zeroes in on my laptop’s “off” button every time she gets the chance. And then she shouts “Yaaay!” and claps with joy before stealing another flip flop and taking off running.
  3. A huge bout of what-to-write-next-itis.
  4. “Great” ideas that end up just being huge distractions when I realize that I should have just been writing in the first place.
  5. Doubt. Unspeakable doubt about…well, everything. 

Number 5 is a biggie. Lately I’ve been rather down on myself for not having the time to pursue my writing career the way I’d like to. That includes writing more books, maintaining this blog and my social media profiles, and supporting authors that I meet online by reading and leaving a review for their books. And since I don’t have the time, doubt (fear’s wicked, wicked stepsister) seeps in and causes me to question whether or not I should be pursuing this writing thing at all since I can’t devote my all to it. To boot, I feel guilty about many other things that I should be doing (like getting my butt on Instagram or marketing myself locally), and because I can’t do every single thing I’d like to do, I start feeling like maybe I should just give up.

But having that kind of defeatist attitude just leads to failure! It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy and if I believe that I won’t be successful, then guess what? I won’t be! So even when I’m feeling like my to-do list is insurmountable and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to pursue all my dreams, I have to stop that train of negativity by reminding myself that I can do anything I set my mind to as long as I don’t quit. I also have to ask myself, “What’s the rush?” So what if I don’t get every single thing done today. Who cares? Doing a little each day is better than doing nothing at all. And then I start thinking of all the things I thought I couldn’t do and did anyway, like finishing my first two novels, and I realize that I can achieve all of my dreams. Just not in one day–or one year.

There’s so much power in our thoughts and the things that we speak that we have to be vigilant about what we think and what we say. Despite what your situation looks like, keep pushing.

Are there going to be days of doubt? Yes. Are there going to be setbacks? Yes. Are there going to be days where you feel like you’re doing all of this in vain and you should just give up? Absolutely! But nothing worth having comes easy. And things don’t just happen: they must be planned. Yes, you have to think positively but you also have to map out a plan and get to work. Also, don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself. Instead, surround yourself with people who have your solution, not your problem, and go out there and live your dreams.

Visualize your success. Speak it, write it, claim it. Wake up next day, repeat. Click To Tweet

Don’t believe me? Check out this inspirational letter that renowned science fiction author, Octavia Butler, wrote to herself. If you aren’t familiar with her work, she is one of the most lauded American writers and the first science fiction author to win a MacArthur genius grant. She also wrote one of my favorite books, Kindred, a novel about a modern black woman living in California who is transported back to slavery times.

 

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Now excuse me while I go and take my own advice, lol. What about others? Do you practice thinking/speaking positively and writing down your goals?

And for those of you who need an extra boost of motivation, check out one of my favorite songs, “Go Get It,” by gospel duo, Mary Mary. Go get it!

 


68 thoughts on “Claim it! Visualizing Your Goals And the Power of What we Speak

  1. I’ve never heard of Octavia Butler, but I love her already. I’m one of those people that right down stuff too…but then I get all in a tizzy when my dreams have materialized according to my plan. Thanks for the swift kick to keep pushing, Quanie! So needed it.

  2. Yes! You’ve got the passion that makes me go RAWR!! I haven’t done 2 kids so close together, but I do have a 5yo and a 2yo who love to push buttons so I know a bit about how you feel. I’m impressed that you’ve accomplished as much as you have, since I’m way behind myself. Keep up the positive attitude. You’re an inspiration to all of us. 🙂
    Loni Townsend recently posted..Guess Who’s Co-Hosting? #IWSGMy Profile

  3. I agree with all of this and it’s awesome. ^_^ I know I get frustrated as all hell because things are not working out for me writing-wise, and it’s way too easy to think that they never will. But I keep going because it’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do with my life, and damn if I’m going to give up and become a directionless thirtysomething wasting away my life on work and video games. Besides, even if I tried to quit, I’d be back at it again within a month. Writing is too much a part of me to give up.

    As for your situation with your kids and all that, I once read someone pointing out that writing isn’t something you have to do and get good at by a certain point in your life. No matter the delays, no matter how long it takes or what keeps you from writing, you can always go back to it. And when that time comes, hopefully your kids will know why you don’t turn off the computer when someone’s using it. ^_^
    Mason T. Matchak recently posted..IWSG: Embrace your Weird.My Profile

  4. I’ve got chills all over my body because I FELT this post, Quanie. I felt how sincere you are, how vulnerable you let yourself be by speaking about your doubts. And I’m the choir you’re preaching too. This whole year has been a little rough for me personally (had major surgery and took FOREVER to recover) and I was putting so much pressure on myself to do all the gazillion things people say you HAVE to do in order to be a successful indie author. It was driving me crazy and causing so much tension. Then I remembered something my mama used to say all the time, “All I have to do is stay Black and die.” I don’t HAVE to do anything. I don’t have to do things the way other people say I do, when they say I should do them, and how they say I should do it. That’s not to say that I’m supposed to disregard the advice and methods successful folks, but I don’t have to choke on swallowing all of it! I took a huge step back from all of it and realized that it’s not that serious. There’s nobody standing over me with a time stamp saying I need to do A, B & C right now.

    I was finally able to breathe and relax. The ironic part was that once I took all the pressure off, it’s like I came to my senses and now I’m able to prioritize the various tasks that I CHOOSE to do. The pressure has subsided and I’m actually starting to enjoy the process again, which is what it’s supposed to be like in the first place.

    PS I saw that Octavia Butler picture a while ago and it resonated with me, too. There’s something about the power of our words that amazes me. I had another author who stays on Amazon’s best seller list say that she wakes up every morning and by the authority of Jesus Christ commands her books to sell. And selling they are!

    PPS I’m addicted to Mary Mary’s reality show. It’s a hot funky mess, but I can’t look away.
    Faith Simone recently posted..How I Got Over My Fear of Public SpeakingMy Profile

    • It’s crazy how all of us struggle with the same things! And why do we put such pressure on ourselves? I think it’s because we see so many success stories that we feel as though we should be keeping up–despite the fact that every situation is different. I’m also addicted to Mary Mary! That Mitch is a trip, ain’t he? I actually would LOVE to blog about some of my favorite shows, but I fear that this is something else that would just distract me from my writing and this blog, and then I’d end up rewriting this post, lol.
      Quanie recently posted..Claim it! Visualizing Your Goals And the Power of What we SpeakMy Profile

  5. OMG–I’m reading It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy and you have NO REASON for doubt. You have such a gift for comedy. I hope you’re writing another one! I think you should submit your next one to Harlequin. Go for it! If they say no, self-publish it and send your next one to them. You have the voice they’re looking for. (I spent YEARS trying to get published by them and read thousands of books in that time, so I know it when I see it!)
    Stephanie Faris recently posted..Here’s to All the MomsMy Profile

  6. Quanie, I can relate to your doubts (different circumstances but same insecurities). I’ve been minding my thoughts recently, too. I have a vision for my career and whenever thoughts that make me tight in the chest pops up, I let them have their say then ask myself if they’ll help me move towards my vision. If they don’t (usually, they don’t, they just hinder me), I tell them to go. And I think of better questions or thoughts to help me move TOWARDS my vision.

  7. That is an excellent exercise to help push on past doubts. I have several doubts and I push myself with pep talks. Plus the support and encouragement of other wonderful writers. 🙂 Good luck! You can do it.
    Christine Rains recently posted..#IWSG for May 2016My Profile

  8. I had my two youngest 11 months apart, so it felt like I was pregnant for two years straight! Anyway, I’m trying to stay positive and focus on the good so that good will keep coming back to me. Thank you for your words of encouragement!

  9. What an inspiring post, Quanie! I think what you have accomplished is awesome! I keep reading about all these wonderful books that IWSG writers are publishing. I would love a clone just to sit down and read them all! And thanks for introducing me to Octavia Butler whom I was unfamiliar with. I’ve been working on The memoir That Is Taking Longer To Finish Than Any Memoir In The History of Memoirs ~ LOL! I totally lifted your line. Words are very powerful, and we have to be careful what we tell ourselves about ourselves. I went through a depressed period earlier this year, and a friend of mine said something I’ve been using like a shield when I get down on myself . He said, “Louise, these are only stories we tell ourselves.” Just stories, not true, something we can change by changing what we tell ourselves. Good luck with your writing!

  10. No 5 is a biggie for me as well. I doubt myself if I even know what I’m doing marketing myself on social media, finding my audience, writing etc. I doubt whether anyone would want to read what I write. Or if I could make a living writing. I even doubt if I can finish writing the story. But I try to remind myself that this writing business is not a race I have to finish as fast as possible or as number one. Because what matters most is that I’ve already started. That I don’t come to a complete stop and give up.

  11. We do that! We get in the rush like it has to be done tomorrow. Writing isn’t a profession that’s done in a sprint though. It’s a marathon. Sometimes one with no finish line.

  12. I love that Butler image. I saw it somewhere else recently and just fell in love! I want to write a letter like that to myself too. It’s like giving yourself a stern talking to. Instead of New Year’s Resolutions every year, I write a list of writing goals. Some years, I am wildly successful and others I barely scratch the surface. I find that writing down my goals and seeing them every day or every other day works for me(most of the time). I have a goal for this year of finishing one of my pieces and possibly shopping a poetry collection. I don’t know how successful I will be. My laptop is now on the fritz and I am sharing time with a little person who thinks that my tablet’s sole purpose is for him to watch Little Einsteins. He won’t use the potty but he can say Einsteins! Quanie the flip flop thief made my day!

    • “He won’t use the potty but he can say Einsteins!” Ha! And I think you could totally sell your poetry collection. It might be worth it to enter it into some contests or go to a workshop/conference where you can pitch to a small press directly (I know of an author who won a short story collection contest and got many offers from publishers). I also need to start writing more of my writing goals down (and then staple them on my head!).
      Quanie recently posted..Claim it! Visualizing Your Goals And the Power of What we SpeakMy Profile

  13. I can’t believe you have published books with babies taking every minute of your days. I didn’t start to get serious, serious about writing until my 5 kids were practically college bound. I applaud your accomplishments thus far. Life does happen. Family is always first. You will find the time to write more novels, and I doubt you will wait as long as I did.

  14. Thanks for your post! Sometimes we have to realize not everything can be done in a day. I whipped out my first two books fairly quickly, at least in comparison to the snail speed that I’m currently moving. But when I find myself doing everything but writing I question my purpose.

  15. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. That’s one bit of advice I saw the other day and I like to remember it when I’m feeling dissuaded about my progress. You’ll get there one day. I know it because you said you don’t want to give up and make failure a self-fulfilling prophecy. =)

    PS: I totally feel guilting for laughing at your toddler turning your laptop off. It’s not funny at all but just the image of a child doing that then running off laughing with a flipflop is a cute image. Sorry.

  16. Oh Quanie, this is fabulous! I was all set to give you the chin-up talk before you launched into a wildly uplifting speech that seemed custom-made – for me, ha! I imagine I’ll have visions of your little flip flop stealing munchkin for the rest of the day – thanks:-) So, we agree, it’s perfectly alright to temporarily shelve a project, but it’s never okay to trash it. Right?
    I really liked the Mary Mary video, those lyrics truly resonate;-)
    diedre recently posted..IWSG – May 2016My Profile

    • I think that temporarily shelving a project is probably the best thing for our sanity! And we do have to trash things sometimes, but I’ve learned that there’s is always something in a story that we can use, no matter how small. For example, one novel of mine that will probably never see the light of day features a secondary character that will actually end up being the main character in a future WIP. She’s changed dramatically, but if I hadn’t written the terrible story, I wouldn’t have found her! Oh! And I’m glad you liked the Mary Mary song!
      Quanie recently posted..Claim it! Visualizing Your Goals And the Power of What we SpeakMy Profile

  17. This is great advice! Negative self-talk only leads us to failure, and then we say ‘see I was right!’ when it was ourselves who did it. I’d say you’ve achieved a great deal even with tons of distractions. Like you said, do a little every day. A little every day equals a whole lot over weeks, months, and years!

  18. I think we all have to conquer those negative destructive thoughts – and quite regularly. It’s part of being a creative person, I think. But with each other to lean on, we can do it!!! Wishing you a positive and productive May.

  19. Girl, this is so right on time. That Octavia journal photo really changed my life. I’m (very seriously) going to get the words “So be it! See to it!” as a tattoo very soon. She’s one of my biggest inspirations and to see her visualize her life into existence was *very* powerful.

    We all have challenges that keep us from doing everything we feel we need to do. It’s never ending. Being kind to yourself is number one. I’m still working on it, but I hope I’m improving! Thank you for the post!
    Leslye Penelope recently posted..Song of Blood & Stone wins the BCALA 2016 Self-Publishing EBook AwardMy Profile

  20. This is an excellent post, Quanie. Thank you for sharing your fears and doubts–something I can certainly relate to–and Octavia’s encouraging note to herself.

    I’ve tried meditating while silently repeating this sort of positive mantra and writing similar notes in the past. I liked the positive boost, but I wasn’t consistent with it. Your post makes me want to go back to doing this again and sticking with it.
    Reese Ryan recently posted..Her Kind of Man by Elle Wright — Launch DayMy Profile

  21. This is one book that I am going to check out. I have to admit I hadn’t heard of her, so thank you.
    I can imagine with two children your lists of things to do keep getting longer, but as I always say to myself, take a day at a time and do something each day on your list. You’ll never be caught up because the more you do, the more doors open that lead you one step further to reaching your goal.
    All the best.
    Shalom,
    Patricia @ http://www.patgarciaandeverythingmustchange.com/2016/05/the-second-milestone-iwsg-article-may-4.html
    Pat Garcia recently posted..The Second Milestone – An IWSG Article, May 4, 2016My Profile

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