The Power of Negative Thinking

I woke this morning to howling winds. It’s dark and raining –perfect for staying in bed or for curling up with tea and a book. Or for writing. Usually this kind of weather lends itself to concentration and immersion in whatever project I’m working on. Recently, I’ve been struggling to write. It’s happened before but never for this long. I really haven’t put new ideas down on paper since before the holidays.

I’ve alluded to the stress I’m experiencing in my personal life –let’s just say that it is ongoing– and it’s had a dramatic impact on my ability to write. This too, is a new phenomenon. My best writing usually comes from that dark space inside. But this is different. And perhaps it has to do with the subject matter I’ve been working on. Without realizing it, I’ve given Maya –my main character– the same ‘kinds’ of issues that are troubling me as well. And maybe striking so close to home has stayed my hand. Because I can’t see the way forward personally, I can’t see the way forward fictionally.

However, the whole thing is tied up in a bundle together. If I can’t get the writing back on track, it will compound the rest of the stress I’m feeling. I have to act. If life would just imitate art, I could write myself a solution for my real problems and my fictional ones.

66 thoughts on “The Power of Negative Thinking

  1. I liked this post but I don’t like that you’re going through this. Weird that we were just talking about my belief that I’m a failure. Maybe I’m not, but I believe it anyway… and that has a huge impact.

    Maybe just start writing like you’re narrating your own life… like, for me… “I woke up exhausted but dragged myself out of bed and to the kitchen to fix my daughter something for breakfast…… blah blah…” (I doubt you really want to hear the rest of my mundane morning…) Also, you could just write what you’re feeling… or a combination of the two.

    I’m sure these suggestions are ridiculous… but at least they’d get you writing something. Maybe it would get things going…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am most disturbed that I haven’t been able to harness the negativity to my advantage. Anger, sadness, even anxiety is usually fuel. I even have the ‘what happens next’ plotted out and I just can’t find the specific words to move forward. And you might be right, I need to write something, even if its just filler to be edited out later. Or maybe something altogether different. Maybe I’ll try the dreaded ‘prompt’ today. Lol!

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      1. You can write me a letter. And yes, I know what you mean… the downturns are usually the best for writing so it is really frustrating when you’re not getting at least that benefit. Of course, that being said, I should be the best, most inspired writer on earth… words should flow from me like running water… Ha!

        Also, sometimes chocolate. πŸ˜ƒ

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      2. I have trouble with the far future, Peter. You know how employers will ask a job applicant ‘where do you see yourself in five years?’ … I’ve never been able to honestly answer that question. Ten years into the future? Even foggier!

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  2. Maaan.. I have been experiencing similar issues.. with writing and focusing.. and coming up with new ideas..
    I woke with the same feeling from this weather we have been having..
    I’m sitting here . Still in bed feeling a sense of relaxation.. thinking I should get my computer πŸ’» out and try working on my unfinished projects.. and here I read your comments on the day.. and you echos my every thoughts..

    Wishing you inspiration today.. with this gloomy windy rainy day..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sending you positive vibes, Meg… and I hope you find your way out of your creative slump as well as find a way to manage your stress. I also usually write well and am inspired when in “the dark place” but not always. I’m useless right now too, is it January that is to blame?! Hugs ❀

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  4. Hang in there Meg! True-what the others said-just write something, anything, even if it is something mundane like: ‘the leaf lazily and effortlessly fell from the tree.’ Also, it is always interesting to hear what motivates people to write-or when or where they do their best writing. That being said, I usually do my best writing when I am stressed (or cross with my Mum) but once done writing, I feel so much better! Hope you no longer continue to struggle to write. After all…your fans are waiting. No pressure! Cheah! πŸ˜‰

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  5. Dear friend, I’m sorry you are experiencing this struggle. However, I’m a gal who believes the gold is found in digging your way out ❀

    You know what I love about Maya? She struck me immediately as a woman who feels the pain, accepts that it is what it is and then takes a deep breath and puts it in the box of not so tasty experiences.

    I see her turning to survey her field of dreams and moving again in that direction; because she knows she is more than anyone has ever realized.

    She seems to me to be a warrior of sorts, a woman willing to walk alone before she she is willing to let another decide her destiny; particularly those who should have cheered her on.

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    1. Spot on, Rita. That’s how I see Maya, too. Not dependent on others’ opinions or expectations to hold her back. Despite her background she has faith in herself, shaken at times, but not falling. I’ll get there myself. Soon, I think.

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  6. I think you’re on your way “back” just by your thoughts about how you got off the rails! I read something so blatantly simple over the Holidays…just take five really deep breaths in the middle of some chaos while really getting “into” feeling them as you go. It sounds like common sense 101 but I never really stopped in the middle of a situation and made a legit effort to re-connect with my mind and body like that. At least you didn’t have to agonize over any last-second Steelers contest…God, both those games were just brutal.

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    1. I hope you’re right. I think I can write …. something. I just can’t seem to proceed with the novel. But your suggestion is a good one. Try to find some calm in the midst of the storm. Oh the games! A horror! I am absolutely blown away by the Falcons – I guess I wasn’t paying attention to how really good they are. Highest scoring offense in the league this year? Whoa! The Steelers game wasn’t that much of a surprise. Bell getting hurt was a shame, although Williams did a good job. And double covering Brown – took him right out the game. Ah, I got my hopes up and I really shouldn’t have. I’ll really be irritated if the Pats win another SB, though. Go Falcons!

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  7. Sorry to hear this, Meg… January has its claws in me too. I think you just need to remove the pressure from yourself, and do something creative and ridiculous for the sheer bloody love of it, without worrying about plot arcs and self-imposed deadlines – park this for a few days… You can do all of this. You will do all of this. We believe in you x

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    1. Al, thank you so much. I would do that if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve let it go for nearly a month already. I did manage three paragraphs today. Tra la! Anyway, that’s why so many sketches the past few weeks, lol! My only creative outlet! How goes it with your WIP?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m working though the structure of it… Trying to resist my pantser nature with a heavy dose of plotting, then will start in earnest on getting some words down! Am also struggling with a poem I’ve agreed to perform at a friend’s wedding… I have the idea, but getting the right words for that down is also proving tough!

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  8. Trump- and ant-Trump Mania … It’s the alternate truth … now that’s creative … and sometimes we must just let everything go … I’m with Al on this one … and Lola … focus on the most important things … you’ll come through … the rest will follow … and keep drawing … you think less then … we believe … AND I’m on chapter 19 (Tainted Money)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Trump situation, I’m sure it has something to do with it. Watching President Obama leave felt like Dad leaving you in a playground full of bullies. But the writing – I did a little skip ahead in time. Just what it needed, not dragging away day by day. I’m so glad you’re enjoying Tainted!

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  9. How about going the direction you wish or hope your personal situation would go? Letting Maya say the very things you would like to say, put a foot up the ass of the person who’s ass you’d like to foot up. Ya know? Allow her to fictionally do what you’d like to do in reality?

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      1. Never know. I’m not sure what’s goin’ on, but I hope you’re able to work things out. I do know, however, that having a creative outlet is good therapy for the soul. And some of the best creativity comes from angst. Hope you get your mojo back sooner than later, my dear. 😊

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  10. I wish I had some magical words of advise! I’m sorry you’re going through this, too. My gut says that somewhere in there seems to be thoughts and words that wish to be heard, even if to sort or express, and not necessarily with the purpose of figuring things out. You gave your character similar issues…so maybe, even if subconsciously, you just need to put pen to paper and give those thoughts and feelings a voice. Maybe it’s for your character, maybe it’s for you, who knows? Maybe it’s allowing your character to feel whatever she needs to feel, even if it sucks ass? Maybe it’s you allowing yourself to not be okay and express whatever thoughts and feelings, jumbled or not, are rumbling around in your brain? Just a thought. I’ve definitely been there. One way I work through is to write. Sometimes I write with characters, sometimes just a journal entry. Either way, it has an outlet. Love to you, Meg.πŸ’œ

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    1. Thank you, Kay. I’ve always used writing as an outlet too. So much of my fiction is composed of aspects of my own life/ emotions/fears/desires. I have just felt so muddled, it’s been hard to focus my thoughts into the story. Editing for Cake, writing for the blog -both of those helped. And I did manage 3 paragraphs yesterday. But I think you’re right, I let Maya help me work out the issues that parallel mine. And thank you again, Kay. I am grateful for your friendship! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I get you completely. I am going through some stress as well, and am simply unable to write without the negativity coming out in my writing, which makes me feel almost naked and exposed, but not writing is making me internalise the whole thing as well…a mess.
    I hope we find our catharsis.

    Liked by 1 person

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