Wednesday, November 7, 2012

IWSG: Positivity

So it is first Wednesday! Man, it feels like we had one of these just a month ago... erm... But what it means is today is the day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group post. And you know... I'm insecure! And I write! And I like to be supportive! I may not be a group, but three out of four is close enough, yes?

Now I normally take this opportunity to whine and complain, but why not shake things up now and then?

So here goes...


A week and a half ago, on a Saturday, my friend Claire hosted an AMAZING women's rejuvenation retreat. It was smallish—a little party, all women, with some great breakfast foods, some get-to-know-you games and three great speakers, one on mindfulness, one on organizing (but not in an anal way) and the last (though she was actually the middle) on positivity.

Mary, the positivity presenter is a psychologist who studies HAPPINESS and how we can all be happier. And one of the strategies she gave—one that I think I can successfully extrapolate on to apply to writing—is a really simple little daily exercise with big results. In fact, she said if a person did this DAILY FOR A WEEK (not so much, really) their improved happiness scores are still present six months later.

So here's what you do... every night write down THREE THINGS that made you happy that day and why.

That's all. That simple.

See... how it works in the long run is you begin to NOTICE things more that make you happy, so you feel happy more often. And if you think about WHY, then those experiences stick with you longer, improving your happiness.

How I'd apply it to writing: When you get done with a sitting, whether it was an hour, a scene, a chapter... however you do it... take note of something you really liked about it. Did you nail the action? Did you give the reader great character insight? Was there ONE DIVINE SENTENCE? Take note of the things you do that really are fabulous. Because YOU DO THEM. I promise. We just tend to notice all the stuff we do wrong. So make a point of noticing something you did RIGHT. It will also reinforce the writing so you want to write more often, so that's a nice little side effect.

And just a brief election wind up (written BEFORE any results are in)--no matter who wins, lets make the best of it. Support the winners and urge them to work with the other side. We are in dire need of cooperation.

Be sure and get around to the other insecure people today!!! (link at top)


mooderino said...

Interesting idea. I'm going to give it a go.

Moody Writing

Siv Ottem said...

This is especially a good reminder when the season of of darkness is upon us and "Winter is coming" I most surely will try and remind myself of the positive in my writing and the season.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I love this tip...for life and writing!

Old Kitty said...

The results are in!! And Yay!!!!

Your women's rejuvenation retreat is truly a most NAKED way to harness positive energy! Take care

Anonymous said...

Great advice! Sometimes we beat ourselves up for no reason. We need to take a moment and reflect on what we do right. And even reward ourselves!

Karen Walker said...

You were right, Hart, I did need to read your positivity post. Thanks.

Teresa Coltrin@Journaling Woman said...

We need to be our own best friend and not our worst enemy. Great post.

Johanna Garth said...

I've read that before and I love the me ideas for other things :)

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Hart
I really love this post. I love the idea of that get together too. How great and so different. I've a mind to grab your post and re-post if on my blog I love it so much. But instead, I'll grab the buttons and provide a link. Great job from the writer of 'fear' for IWSG. LOL

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm already thinking of things that made me happy today. Great idea.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I can think of three things!
And I share your sentiment - he's our president. We WANT him to do a good job, right?

JohnnyB Dungeon Master said...

Hmmm, maybe there could be an app fort that?

Helena said...

The idea of giving myself a pat on the back for something I've written is a good idea. I bet a lot of us readers don't do that often enough at all.

Tara Tyler said...

i love this post! wish i'd read it yesterday! was so bummed!
feel the need to do something positive now!
make lemonade!

thank you =)

Michael Di Gesu said...

YAY for positivity! I like this exercise, Hart. It is easy.

WE should concentrate on what's good in our lives. Especially this time of year... Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This tactic could apply for that as well.

Happy thoughts and thankful for our blessings. It's a win/win situation!

Have a great weekend YOUR ROYAL EMINENCE of Nakedness ... Hey, there's another... writing in the tub naked... Lol.

Lexa Cain said...

I came here from N.R.Williams's link. Normally, I'm a glass-half full kinda girl. But 2 months of query rejections on what I thought was a sure thing have laid me low. I'm grateful for the good in my life, but it isn't writing atm. Today, not one thing made me happy, which is a realization that depresses me on a whole new level. So I'll stick to just being grateful for the basics and leave the contemplation of "happiness" for another time.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Hart - I too have come over from Nancy's post ..

Great thoughts here and what a good idea to just sit for a few moments and jot those satisfaction ideas down ..

So much - happy thoughts, positive thoughts ... forgetting the negative ... things we didn't do because we don't need to do them - that extra biscuit, or 2nd helping ... and things we did do - stretches etc ..

Lovely post .. cheers Hilary

Yolanda Renee said...

I too need to do this. Today I'm fighting a stomach flu so maybe my positive -- well, we'll leave that for another day.

Tomorrow this will all make sense I'm sure.