I was at a workshop last Friday that had nothing to do with writing a book. But along the way, I realized what I learned could be applied to your experience of writing your book.
(You can watch an expanded Facebook Live video on this topic—including a reflection exercise that helps you release your negative thoughts—here.)
At the workshop, we were invited to consider a section of our life that might want new life breathed into it. I chose my health. It's an area I know needs attention, and it's an area in which I continually struggle to make progress. I had the opportunity to explore why that might be.
I was surprised to discover my struggle has a lot to do with the deep grooves in my brain that believe I can't do anything about it.
Here's some context.
Most of my growing-up life, I cultivated poor eating habits. I preferred dessert over dinner, and I walked to the neighborhood store at least once a week to stock up on candy. Additionally, I failed regularly at sports. I played city softball for three years and never hit once hit the ball. Instead of playing outside with the neighborhood kids, I curled up on a chair inside the house to read a book. I hated getting dirty.
The upshot of this is, I felt I didn't belong to the outdoor world. I believed sports weren't for me. I never gave healthy foods a chance because I believed I wouldn't like them.
That means that today, I've got deep neural grooves in my brain that say, "A healthy, active lifestyle isn't for me. I don't like it. I can't do it." I've been telling myself these things—and believing them—for decades. No wonder I'm struggling to care for my health now!
So, what does this have to do with you and your book?
I invite you to consider whether any lifelong messages have shaped themselves into deep grooves in your brain, too, that could be affecting your approach to your book or the decisions you're making on its behalf.
What might this look like?
I talked with a writer on Friday who said she's struggling with the message of "I'm not good enough" with her book. When she began her book project, she assumed it was for a local audience and therefore assumed she'd self-publish. But lately in prayer, she's been noticing a nudge to let her book broaden to a wider audience. The "I'm not good enough" message has kicked in, making it hard to trust what she's hearing in prayer and to consider the path of traditional publishing.
Do you see how what you tell yourself can affect the way you approach your book and make decisions on its behalf?
What messages fuel your actions? What beliefs keep you from acting? Could you pause and examine whether they're set in stone or could be different?