“You’re lazy. You don’t have enough discipline. You don’t have enough talent.”
“You’re not a real writer.”
If you have a tendency for self-flagellation, it’s time to try a thought journal. Fold each page into two columns. In the first, write down each negative thought. On the opposite side of the paper write a positive thought that counters it. It’s important to counter every thought, even if you don’t believe your positive spin. There’s a whole field of psychology dedicated to this process, and all those academics are in agreement – if you repeat the positive often enough, you’ll believe it.
Although it may feel weird at first to write this down, it actually takes skill and practice to counter negative thoughts mentally while you’re experiencing them. Thought journals make the process easier. Below is an example of my thought journal, written this morning when my novel wasn’t flowing.
More suggestions for those who need help being nice to themselves:
* The Meereenese Knot is when you’ve written your characters into a corner plot-wise and you can’t work out how to get them out of it.