The Mark Blog

A Shot of Positivity

Just as our bodies need shots to ward off disease, our minds need vaccines against negativity. We're surrounded by negative messages all the time, not to mention those we produce internally, so I’ve found that giving my mind a shot of positivity on a regular basis helps fend off negative self-talk.

Writers are notorious for self-doubt, which comes in all shapes and sizes: second-guessing a rewrite, writers’ block, not knowing when to send out a piece, processing a snide comment from a family member, friend, editor, or agent… you get the picture. Sometimes the issue can be finding adequate time to write without getting bogged down in the messy details of living. That's something everyone struggles with at one time or another.

There are great websites and blogs out there on this very topic. I subscribe to some of them, so every few days I’ll receive tidbits of advice in my inbox. My favorite resource is Marc and Angel Hack Life: Practical Tips for Productive Living. Their newsletter is especially helpful on days when my mind reels with negativity and dark thoughts.

Of course, websites can't be our only sources of inspiration. I often learn a lot from talking to older family members. Our society tends not to listen much to the old folks. However, my great aunt taught me that, especially on the darkest of days, it’s best to go to sleep early. In the morning everything will be clearer and fresher, and your mood will have likely shifted, too. I’ve found that to be true on many occasions.

My eighty-five year old Nana is one of the most positive people I know. She lived through World War II and the Yugoslav wars yet she never complains, harbors no resentments, and finds the positive in everything. I once asked my grandmother how she retained her sanity even when her home was burned in one war and then, later, bombed in another. “Ah,” she paused observing a tree, “I reminded myself that nothing lasts forever, and even this would pass. And I kept telling myself things would get better.”

Writing is a great mood booster. Have you ever felt crappy, only to jot down a new scene, rewrite a troubling paragraph, or get lost in a new poem? The dark mood seems to disappear in no time. I love that feeling. Writing can be like working out: even when you don’t want to, if you just make yourself do it, then you feel better afterwards.

If you’ve gotten your flu shot but still feel a bit bogged, maybe consider giving yourself shot of positivity today. Then go write something.