Wednesday, September 2, 2015

IWSG September - If you can't say something nice

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for September.

It's the 4th anniversary of IWSG!
Alex's awesome co-hosts this month are: 
Dolorah at Book Lover
Please stop by their blogs and say thank you.
And be sure to check the IWSG website.
                                                   There's a big announcement today!


I'm sure you've heard the saying If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. (It was grumbled, sermonized, and snapped at me more times in my youth than I care to remember.) That's a good rule of thumb for relating to others, but it could also benefit us writers when we talk to ourselves.

Next time you find yourself having some negative, insecure, self-deprecating thought, instead of berating yourself, stop and find something nice to say instead.

"My writing is crap. No one will ever want to read this." could become "My writing has improved a lot. If I keep learning, I'll create something I can really be proud of." 

"Between family and work and laundry, I can barely find any time to write. I should just give up." might morph into "Look at how much I've accomplished, even with such limited writing time. Success doesn't exist on only one timetable."

What disparaging thoughts can you think of and turn on their heads?


IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list
I'm hosting a giveaway this month to celebrate the release of Precious Atonement! I would have done it sooner, but getting three kids back to school and hand-making some of the prizes slowed me down. 

Better late than never, right? :P   

As a bonus, the Kindle and Nook versions of both my books are on sale for 99c!
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for visiting. :)
 

55 comments:

  1. I like it! Usually, when hearing the 'If you can't say anything nice' line, it's about someone else. It's important to realize the same goes for ourselves, too!

    Great point.

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  2. What great advice, Melissa! With my writing, I go through stages where I remind myself to me nicer to 'me', but I've never thought of it quite the way you've put it. :) So nice of you to offer up this giveaway!

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  3. HI,
    It is sometimes difficult to cut off the self-disparaging talk about yourself. One thing that has helped me greatly is Proverbs 4 out of the Bible. Now, I guard my thoughts because I know what I think is what happens.
    Thank you for sharing.
    By the way, I read your book, Precious Atonement and enjoyed it. I'll be doing a book review on it soon.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

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    1. Thank you, Pat! That means a lot to me.

      (I've been watching the Amazon page, saying, "9 reviews... c'mon, c'mon - somebody make it an even 10!" LOL)

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  4. I hadn't thought about applying that saying to my own self-talk. Great idea!

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  5. What you say to yourself is just as important. We have to tame that negative chatterbox.

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    1. Thanks, Madeline.

      Taming the negative--good way to describe it, Diane.

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  6. This is great advice. I tend to be harsh on myself, but know I should be kinder to myself. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your kinds words. It was so nice meeting you.

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    1. It's nice to meet you, too, Murees. :)

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  7. A friend used to get on people's cases when they turned negative. He said, "You put yourself down, now you have to give yourself two put-ups. Repeat after me, 'I have nice shoes.'" Granted, that's probably not an effective put-up, but he used it with everyone. :)

    Great thoughts on staying positive!

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  8. I agree with thinking positive thoughts and how they're much more helpful. Sometimes I get down on myself, but I've gotten better as I've grown older. Awesome giveaway! :)

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  9. We are our own greatest critics, aren't we? I try not to do it but it's hard to stay positive.
    Susan Says

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    1. It is hard. Thanks for visiting, Susan. :)

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  10. It's not so easy to turn that frown upside down, but even if you're not sincere. Just saying it helps. Eventually, you'll reprogragm your brain to stop the negative thoughts.

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  11. Great thoughts on turning those negatives into positives...
    When it comes to others, I'm a firm believer in the power of positive thinking... just need to apply it to my own writing...
    Happy IWSG Day!

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    1. All right, you two, I feel like I'm in math class studying integers. LOL

      Kidding. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  12. Good advice, Melissa. It's so simple to do, yet we don't stop to praise ourselves. You handmade some of the prizes? That's admirable.
    Good luck with it all, new school year included.

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    1. I think I bit of more than I can chew. LOL

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  13. You are so right, we need to apply that saying to ourselves!

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  14. Replies
    1. Holly and Alex, y'all make a good team. :)

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  15. If I talked to my friends like I talk to myself- I'd have no friends. I can be such a bitch.

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    1. According to your IWSG post, you're too insecure to be a bitch. :P

      Luv ya, gal. :)

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  16. Oh so true. Why did you have to bring that up? LOL. I really try to stop myself, but it is a very hard habit to break!

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    1. If you can't say something nice... ;)

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  17. Great idea! I've got better at telling those negative voices to be quiet, but they sometimes sneak up on you without warning. I'll have to keep this in mind! :)

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    1. Tack it above your desk. That's what I do. :)

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  18. I just said all of those things. Got to go back and erase them. Thanks, Melissa.

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  19. You're very right about appreciating what we've accomplished and not being so critical of ourselves. It's easier to *know* it than to do it though! lol

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  20. I started this thing where I look in the mirror first thing in the morning and tell myself 5 things I like about myself. (This is how I combat being a worn-down mommy who never has a moment for validation.) We definitely need the positive.

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  21. Those are great suggestions, but I'll admit that sometimes it feels just a little good to complain. Not out loud, of course. People will think you're grumpy.

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    1. So I'm grumpy...what's it to ya? LOL

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  22. Not being self-critical is sooooo hard though!

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    1. It is. Publishing a work that's well received helps. It doesn't eradicate the insecurity, but it gives you something to balance it against.

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  23. It's funny, I just used this phrase in a comment today when talking about negative reviews and how I don't leave them. Yet until reading your post I never thought about how I don't apply this same principle to myself. I have always been my own worst critic. Thanks for giving me a new perspective on this!

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  24. It's so hard to shut down my inner critic. I'm going to have to type up posters that read "If you can't say something nice", and hang them all over the cottage. Pffft.

    Love you girl!!

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    1. Plaster those walls!
      Love you to, Eva. :)

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  25. I'm not as much grumpy as second-guessy :)

    Seriously, if I had a dollar for every time I gave myself a reason to not write, I'd be a little rich :)

    (Money, which could then be used on cheap, boxed red wine :)

    Go #119 :)

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    1. LOL

      Just stay away from corkscrews. :P

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  26. Thanks for the really great tips, Melissa. It's funny, as a teacher I am used to and take great pleasure in encouraging others but when it comes to myself I seem to forget. I'm going to make a conscious effort and try to write a round up of my day using a positive sentence just for me :)

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  27. Ha! This is great! It should apply to us too, if you can't say something nice to yourself, shush it! LOL Love this!!!! <3

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  28. Oh man. I'm terrible about this. Thanks for the reminder! :)

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    1. Just call me. I'll be your personal cheering section anytime. :D

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  29. At first I thought your blog post was going to be about some petty, cruel, mean writer/blogger who said something nasty about another writer. It was a pleasant surprise to find you suggesting we apply the basic civil -golden rule to ourselves as well as others.

    I know the overwhelming feeling of getting three kids back to school. My life seems to run on the school schedule. I get really lazy during the summer, but once I get the kids back in school, I feel rejuvenated and ready to get stuff done. Best of luck.

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  30. I think I've said all those words more than once. Thanks for the reminder and good advice, Melissa!

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  31. Its a curious thing, isn't it. I wonder why we do that to ourselves? It's sure nice to have a positive reminder.

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