Mental Health Monday–I’m A Winner

I don’t care how many writing failures you think you’ve had, I challenge you to read this post and turn things upside down!

You’re not a failure.

You’re a WINNER.

Lemme ‘splain.

At a meeting last week, the speaker focused on switching negative self-talk to positive self-talk. The concept is from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and challenges the participant to listen to that running commentary–that dialogue we all have running through our heads–identify the negative thoughts, and swap them out with positive ones. The result is improved mood and confidence.

  • An example of negative self-talk: I suck at writing. I’ve written seven novels, sent hundreds of query letters, and been rejected EVERY SINGLE TIME. Yep. I suck.
  • An example of positive self-talk: ย My crit partner had more smiley faces than frowny faces on my latest draft. She was totally blown away by the plot twist I added. An agent (or small press) asked for a full MS. It’s been a struggle, but I’ve grown so much as a writer. I’m getting pretty darn good at it.
  • Another example of negative self-talk: I’ll never get the attention of that press or that agent.
  • Another example of positive self-talk: Writing is subjective. This press LOVED my MS and wants to pub it. I’ll be a published author!

Each of us has our own quibbly demons telling us how awful we are. I challenge you to grab those demons by their throats and tell ’em where to go.


  • Remember the successes, no matter how small you think they are.
  • Remind yourself what got you writing in the first place. Hold onto it and let it propel you forward.
  • Consider how far you’ve come. Is anybody an expert the first time they do something? NO. It takes practice.
  • Accept that every time you fall down and get up to try again, that’s a WIN.
  • Ask yourself, if it was easy to do, would it be worth doing?
  • Think about how awesome you are by writing a short story, novella, or novel. YOU ARE ACCOMPLISHED. YOU ARE AMAZING.

In the comments, I want you to share a negative self-talk statement and how you can switch it to a positive self-talk statement.ย 


18 comments on “Mental Health Monday–I’m A Winner

  1. Thank you, needed to hear this! I’m always saying my writing sucks but today I shall say my writing was good enough to find an agent ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. There is power in the spoken word and most people don’t realize how what we say affects our attitude. Many today will grumble it’s Monday. I say it’s going to be a great day!

  3. When I would try something and it didn’t work out, I used to beat myself up. Now, I recognize how the fact that I even tried something new and different and hard is a success in itself. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. roguemutt says:

    Sure the glass is half full, but who wants a half full glass?

  5. Linda Gray says:

    Here’s my CBT exercise, Laura: “I spent NINE MONTHS writing that novel, and it’s just sitting there, unloved.” Change to: “I actually wrote a COMPLETE NOVEL . . . it’s pretty good and I grew as a writer so much . . . wow!” Thank you. This was an excellent Monday morning exercise! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Wonderful post. I couldn’t agree more. Thank you Laura for spreading your fabulosity around ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes…fabulosity totally describes you.

  7. All writers should experience a meeting like that. Heaven knows we need it ๐Ÿ™‚ Nice post. And thanks for stopping by!

  8. Leigh Moore says:

    Yay!!! What a wonderful, inspirational, encouraging post, Laura! I love it!

    Umm… the negative in my head? It was all a fluke, and it’ll never happen again. :o) Well, I guess at least it happened once~ โค

    My favorite bullet point of yours is this: "Accept that every time you fall down and get up to try again, thatโ€™s a WIN."

  9. I’m not sure I can make a good-enough negative self-talk statement. What am I saying? Of course I can. I write good statements all the time. Also, I have a book called The Feeling Good Handbook and it is fantastic at changing the negative into a positive.

  10. Okay, here it goes…

    I am AWESOME at tearing myself down inside. Really, it’s a gift.

    You are right. It does no good to keep beating ourselves up. Thanks for the reminder.

  11. Lydia Kang says:

    Great post! I usually rag on my own productivity, but in comparison to plenty of people, I’m actually doing just fine!

  12. Vicki Tremper says:

    I give myself a hard time for sometimes doing nothing, instead of writing, but I know that I need that break, too. Thanks for this post! These reminders are so important.

  13. What a great post! I really needed this today!

  14. I spend more time in positive talk than negative talk. But that’s because I’m not currently querying. lol

  15. Jemi Fraser says:

    Love this!!

    I recently decided to use an outline to help me attempt a rewrite (totally contrary to my natural style). At first my thoughts were more ‘I can’t use an outline’. Now they’re moving slowly toward ‘I can plot/outline the next bit’. Definitely progress ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I just finished a first draft and was feeling pretty grim. But I reminded myself that a first draft is just a celebration of everything that can go wrong on a page. I know that may not sound encouraging, but it was to me–freeing because editing is just the next step in the process, no one writes a wonderful first draft.

  17. Donna Hole says:

    Thanks for the inspiration Laura ๐Ÿ™‚


  18. robitille says:

    Negative – submitted the new novel to three publishers, and not a peep yet, it must be crap. Maybe I shouldn’t even bother writing the sequel.

    Positive – beta readers, though they do suggest dumping the first scene, have really been liking the rest of the book and one said that it kept them on the edge of their seat all the way through and wanting the sequel *now*.

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