Writing can be a joyful pursuit — and it often is. But we all have down times when our words aren’t flowing as freely as we’d like or when we feel stuck. When this happens, we can take inspiration from Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie, a French psychologist well-known for his all-purpose affirmation: “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” Emile believed that repeating this at the start and end of each day could influence a person’s unconscious thoughts and lead to success.As writers, we can benefit by borrowing a leaf from Emile’s book and using positive self-talk and affirmations to help boost our creativity and fend off the self-doubt that can easily creep into our day.
Just to refresh your memory, an affirmation is a positive phrase written in the first person and using the present tense that states a goal or a truth that you want to impress upon your mind. By repeating this phrase out loud or writing it down repeatedly, the theory goes, you can begin to absorb and accept it mentally. Writer’s Relief, a writer’s editorial and submission service (writersrelief.com), captured a few helpful tips on using affirmations, along with some examples geared to writers. First the tips:
Keep your affirmations short and sweet; focus on one or two at a time “until you feel you’ve incorporated them into your psyche.”
Use the present tense and focus on today rather than the future.
Don’t fib to yourself by saying you’re an award winning author if you’re not there yet. Your mind knows the difference between aspiration and falsity.
Recite your affirmations every day, preferably at the same time, until they become part of your routine.
Write down your affirmations — seeing them in print can solidify them.
And now, some sample affirmations to play with:
I am creative and talented.
My words flow easily and beautifully.
I write every day, with confidence and enthusiasm.
I will keep submitting my work until I am published.
I can visualize success, and I have the patience and talent to reach it.
I can create vivid images and put them down on paper.
Inspiration comes to me easily and at any time.
I am moving toward my goal of publishing a wonderful novel (film, etc.)
Here are a few more I like and use:
My words flow like honey in harmony with my needs and desires.
Rejection energizes and emboldens me.
I always do more than expected.
Doing work that I love energizes me.
Are there any affirmations that you find especially helpful? I’d love to hear them. Write on!