Your Writer’s Self Image: A Key to Success

“Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself; he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace.” – James Allen from As a Man Thinketh

“I think, therefore I am.” – Rene Descartes

“You are what you think you are. Your self-concept determines your performance. You can become a much more effective leader by changing your self-concept, by changing the way you think about yourself as a leader.” – Brian Tracy

When you wake up in the morning, what is your first thought about yourself? When you look in the mirror throughout the day what crosses your mind? When you bend over to tie your shoelace or pick something up, do you consider the way that position makes you look?

When you see what other people see about you does it make you smile?

Do the words and thoughts that you use to describe yourself build you up, or do they drag you down?

According to the Fastcompany blog:

Writing rituals are personal habits, which make no practical sense to writing, that people routinely perform when they are faced with a writing task. These habits are typically related to the time one writes, the environment in which one writes, and/or one’s behavior while writing.

Writing rituals based on time dictate either how long of a time period you spend writing or the time of day at which you write. Those related to environment are defined by a particular location (i.e. bedroom, park, beach, tree house) in a certain condition (i.e. clean, messy, secluded, populated, noisy, quiet). Behavior-based writing rituals are repeated actions performed (without direct attention) either before or while writing, which often are idiosyncratic or monotonous (i.e. sitting, smoking, sipping a drink, vacuuming, pencil sharpening).

Here is what the blog calls the Benefits of Writing Rituals:

Decrease Stress: The nature of writing a paper for a professor to evaluate produces significant stress, which can lead to procrastination. Developing writing rituals allows people to place themselves in a familiar atmosphere each time they write. This familiarity creates a writing comfort zone and thus gives people self-confidence.
Increase Power: Because professors determine writing assignments and deadlines, writers usually feel that someone else controls them. By developing writing rituals, however, writers can govern their writing situations in order to regain a sense of control.
Ease the writing process: Writer’s block is a common problem that writers experience. Writers can lessen the horrors of writer’s block with writing rituals, which make beginning easier.

 We know from the Four Stages of Learning there are many things we do on a daily basis that fall in to “unconscious competence”. And we also know that many things we do to sustain life are autonomic and/or involuntary. You know, like our respiratory and cardiovascular systems. I don’t spend much time consciously thinking about how I’m digesting food either. But, just think of the opportunities we have with these numbers: 86,400 seconds per day (ideally 57,600 of those awake) and 60,000 thoughts per day (6,000 we are aware of). 6,000 conscious thoughts in 57,600 seconds is a conscious thought every 9.6 seconds.

So, imagine the impact of improving in one or all of these areas: 1) exposing ourselves to positive thinking as often as possible (replacing the negative), 2) spending more time aware of what we are thinking (If we talked to a friend the way we talk to ourselves, would they still be our friend?), and 3) helping those around us with numbers 1 and 2. Take 10 seconds to think about that…

“The reason man may become the master of his destiny is because he has the power to influence his own conscious mind.” – Napoleon Hill

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