Sunday, September 22, 2019

Lies they tell writers, Part 51: Think positive.

I heard a lady say the other day that you have to think positive. That if you don’t think you can do something, you will never do it. She wasn’t talking about writing, but I have heard the same thing said about writing. Believe in yourself, don’t be critical of yourself, and that sort of thing.
I disagree. I think writers should always doubt themselves. Always question themselves. Always wonder if the words they’ve just written are as good as they should be. To always worry that what they’ve written doesn’t cut the mustard.
That kind of “negative” attitude, I believe, spurs us to try harder, to apply extra effort, and, ultimately, to write better.
If a writer is willing to go the extra mile, to never rest, to bend over backward, to always challenge what’s on the page, that writer will surpass the “I think I can” attitude of the little engine that could, and become the writer who did.
And, did it better.


  1. Rod, I couldn't agree more. Besides, "positive" thinking can be downright boring.

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  3. The positive-thinking mantra has worn thin over the years--think successful...think big car...think big home home on the hill. While there's nothing wrong about thinking big, there is a point where action must trump marching-in-place thinking. Your approach is the key to growth Doubt can be healthy. Challenging yourself helps create a better "product."

  4. Maybe the lady wanted to emphasize that we need to encourage that positive voice over the one that tells us our writing is worthless, and why bother. In that sense I can relate.

    1. Perhaps, Tanja. But I believe hubris is more dangerous than doubt.