Writing Mantra: On the other hand…

One of the best ways for writers to combat the dreaded Voices Of Negativity.

Those pages you’re working on? They suck.

That sentence you just wrote? Good chance that sucks, too.

In fact the whole damn story, if you’re honest with yourself… you will have to admit there’s a decent chance it sucks. Or will suck. Or already sucks.

Hell, why stop there? I mean what is it with this writing nonsense anyway? The odds against success are ginormous, the process of writing is a pain in the arse, and chances are you will never see one dime of writing income.


On the other hand…

You could have talent.

Your pages could crackle off the page.

Your story could sing.

You could… dare I say… SELL IT!

Thus the writer’s dichotomy.

One side the Voices Of Negativity inside our head that prattle on with a seemingly endless litany of soul-sucking messages.


The other side exists in the realm of Pure Logic which is this:

No matter where you are in your writer’s quest, no matter how stiff the competition, there is always the possibility you will develop your talent, summon your creativity, find your voice and… make your mark.


The problem is the Voices Of Negativity tend to dominate the conversation in our Mind.

Here is a way to remind ourselves of the two sides of this dichotomy. Here is what I do to remind myself.

I extend my left hand, turn it palm upward, and say, “On the one hand, The Voices could be right and I could be wrong. But…”

Then I extend my right hand, palm up, and say, “On the other hand, The Voices could be wrong and I could be right.”

It’s a simple gesture, holding out your hands, palms extended to the heavens.

It is also a powerful act because by doing it, the writer acknowledges both possibilities and an openness to whatever comes.

Those Little Bastard Voices will always be with us, but so is the possibility of success.

A good way to remind ourselves of that truth?

Extend your left hand, then your right, palms skyward.

Sit. Be. Affirm.

Remember you always have the power of…

On the other hand.

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