I know some of you are rolling your eyes at the mention of creative visualization, but bear with me a moment. Yes, creative visualization has been embraced by myriads of snake-oil-salesmen as a way to “get rich quick” or to “make all your dreams come true,” to which I say an enthusiastic: bah humbug! (That said, if you’re using creative visualization and you’re getting rich quick, good for you. Ignore me.)
What I’m talking about today is using creative visualization as a tool to help folks meet their writing goals, whatever they may be.
My Attempt At Creative Visualization
As some of you know, I’m smack dab in the middle of my WIP which means that I’ve been slogging through the (cue ominous organ music) Great Swampy Middle of Despair. Predictably, I started to wonder why I ever wanted to write in the first place because I’m obviously horrible at it; and so on and so forth. The old demons of doubt reared their ugly heads and, unfortunately, it’s all too easy to believe them. Thoughts--these kind of negative thoughts--do have power (the power we give them) and can become self-fulfilling. And, let’s face it, it’s easy to find reasons not to write. Oh look, the kitchen needs cleaning and I really should go grocery shopping.
While I was procrastinating yesterday I read a fabulous article, On Giving Up, by Monica Bhide over at one of my favorite blogs, Writer Unboxed. I should mention that when I read Monica’s article I was in full-on panic mode. In her article, Monica wrote about feelings of inadequacy she had experienced and it was as though she was speaking for the both of us.
Monica Bhide obviously shook off her feelings of inadequacy to write again and, in reading her article, I remembered a technique I used years ago: creative visualization.
I thought, Well, I may not believe it will work but what do I have to lose? So I closed my eyes and spent a minute or so imagining completing my word count; I imagined how that would feel. I imagined the pen in my hand and the feel of the paper as I wrote.
And you know what? It worked! I astonished myself by writing more than twice the number of words I needed to.
Now I’m not saying, “Close your eyes, think good thoughts, and great things will follow,” (let’s face it, horrible things happen to good people) but I do think that our thoughts can paralyze us, convincing us that we are less than we are, that we can do less than we are capable of. As powerful as these thoughts are, when we understand what’s happening and consciously take steps to balance these negative thoughts with positive ones we can surprise ourselves by what we can accomplish.
That’s my wish for you today, whatever negative, pointless, goal-destroying thoughts you may have, balance them with positive ones. Even if you don’t believe you’ll finish your word count today, close your eyes and spend a minute imagining yourself doing it. Then go write, even if it’s only a word. Put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. You can do it!
Have a great weekend.