Note to Self: Stop Talking

stop talkingTo myself, I mean. Or rather, more specifically, stop the mental negative self-talk that doesn’t help and only makes me miserable. Stop saying I have no ideas. Stop saying I have no time. Stop saying my work is too quirky to find a home. Stop saying I’m not good enough to pull off a major project. Stop saying there’s too many other fine writers out there, far better writers than I am. Stop saying all these things before I’ve even get started, before I can possibly have any notion of whether an idea is viable or not. Note to self: you’re not helping! You’re only succeeding in shutting me down. Just stop! I don’t wanna hear it!

not listeningOr maybe I should more profitably tell myself: stop listening. I’ve had a lifetime of practice in not listening to other people (parents, rejected lovers, the fashion police). Why can’t I tune out the voices in my own head? Maybe I can’t. But, I’ve read that brain scientists have shown that you can’t hold two thoughts in your head at one time. So, instead of battling the negative voices, maybe the cure is to fill my brain with thoughts that push the other ones out. Thoughts like: I’m excited about a new idea. Or, I saw a great market for that story I’ve got in inventory. Or, I don’t have to do it all at once, a little progress every day will get me there. Maybe if I can do this routinely enough, maybe if I can make the positive thoughts the default, I can gradually diminish the visitations or the impact of the negative ones. Can’t hurt to try.

About Lida Bushloper

writer and poet
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11 Responses to Note to Self: Stop Talking

  1. m says:

    I know you have successfully managed the voices in your head, Lida. Look at your output! If you read my post in Sunday Stories I reminded readers that “Every living thing has a story.” Can you refute that? I challenge you. Continued great writing, and inspiring others. The world thanks you. Sincerely, Jo Nelsen, a writing coach

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  2. IMO, YOU ARE GREAT. There is only one you! Love, Leslie

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  3. Ditto to you,Leslie. We all have strong talents and the best part is that they are all different and all valuable. Thanks for reading and commenting. Lida

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  4. What a lovely response, Jo. It’s friends and fellow writers like you who make this writing life possible, better and progressing. Thanks for reading and commenting. Lida

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  5. You know what to do. The trick is to keep doing it more often. I’ve been struggling with my latest novel for what seems like forever. I keep saying to myself, “It’s a mess.” But I was also telling myself I needed to fix it. This morning when I woke up, I had what I hope is the solution for the whole thing. It will take a lot of work, but at least now I’m hopeful. Love “talking” to you! Keep on keeping on.

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  6. Elaine Thomas says:

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts because it’s good to know we all (or at least most of us) can be pretty hard on ourselves.

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    • It must be true that many of us carry these voices in our heads, since I repeatedly see articles, blogs and book chapters on dealing with our “inner critic.” Of course it’s not only writers who struggle with this. But I confine my blog to my experiences in my writing life. Thanks for reading and commenting. Lida

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  7. Jonas Daniel says:

    Thanks for such a great post. The message given in your post is very helpful and inspirational to me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about self-talk.

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