The List of Thoughts To Think When You Sit Down To Write by Kim Lozano
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Kim Lozano as she shares with us “The List of Thoughts To Think When You Sit Down To Write.” Enjoy!
I love motivational quotes and mantras, but there was a time when I was embarrassed to admit it.
I felt that hanging up an inspirational quote by my desk was kind of like displaying a cliché word art plaque (“live, laugh, love” people, I love you). I didn’t want to adorn my office with stuff like bad self-help books that offered superficial guidance or anything that gave me “toxic positivity” vibes.
On the other hand, I’m kind of a self-improvement junkie, even if many of my intended improvements only happen in theory.
I love taking classes and webinars, getting good coaching, and reminding myself of what I’ve learned. I’m a note-taker extraordinaire.
Long story short—I got over my insecurity.
A bit of wisdom staring at me in the morning is often just the thing to get my mind aligned for writing. So, I bought one of those desktop flip albums that holds 4×6 photos, and I printed out some thoughts that are helpful to me.
It sits by my desk, and each day when I sit down to work, I flip.
How to Use the List of Thoughts
What I know is that the thoughts I choose to believe create my feelings. And if I use this knowledge strategically, I can choose to believe certain thoughts and create certain feelings that will fuel my actions. As a goal-oriented writer and business owner, I’ve got to take action.
I encourage you to try this for yourself and make a list of thoughts you want to believe. You might argue with some of the ideas on my list. And that’s okay.
Choose thoughts that work for you. But I do encourage you to consider ideas that might stretch what you think is possible for yourself.
My List of Thoughts
These aren’t direct quotes I’ve copied from others but my own version of ideas I’ve collected here and there. They are thoughts I choose to think that put me on the path to creating the kind of writing results I want to create.
- Ambition entails risk. No big deal.
- My writing is not causing me stress. The way I’m thinking about my writing is causing me stress.
- What would I say next if I did know what to say? Resist confusion.
- Worry is natural but it’s not necessary.
- I can check Twitter again or I can work.
- Fearing the collective judgement of others is a phantom fear.
- Good habits give me confidence.
- “I’m too busy,” “I don’t know what to say,” and “I can’t” are dream stealers.
- I can learn to associate writing with pleasure.
- Get SO good at rejection.
- The more willing I am to be uncomfortable, the more likely I am to hit my goals.
- Feeling overwhelmed is not an excuse for not taking action.
- What emotion do I need to create with my thoughts today in order to take the action I want to take?
- I am one decision away from throwing in the towel and one decision away from being back on track.
- No one is coming to do the work for me.
- I can figure this out.
- Not finding happiness today? Choose purpose.
- Activity is not the same thing as productivity.
- Self-confidence comes from knowing that if I don’t succeed, I’ll be fine.
- Spend as much time creating something as I do consuming information.
- Shift from being problem-focused to solution-focused.
- The content I need right now is not in a book on writing, an essay, or someone else’s memoir. The content I need is in my mind.
- I can make this fun.
- Have my own back.
- What opportunity can I pursue today?
- Any dream I can imagine can be achieved in five years.
- I am capable of exerting significant effort.
- Do my behaviors reflect what I want most?
- No amount of hope will replace hard work.
- The cost of neglecting myself is high.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Lozano is an editor, creative writing teacher, and coach from St. Louis. She works with private clients, leads group workshops, and has taught classes for the St. Louis Writers Workshop and St. Louis Oasis. Her work has been published in The Iowa Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, North American Review, DIY MFA, CRAFT, and many other publications. She blogs about writing at kimlozano.com and you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter @KimberlyNLozano.