Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Think of Yourself as a Writer

My former cat Cookie, may she RIP
Exciting NOTE! (which has absolutely nothing to do with the post below):
My cover reveal for THE BODY INSTITUTE will be March 24 on YA Bound! If you’d like to be a part of the online reveal, sign up HERE!! Nereyda will send you everything you need.

And now, onto my regularly scheduled post. :)

I read a recent online article about working out and thinking of yourself as an athlete. The article stated: “If you want to run more, think of yourself as a runner." And “If you want to swim more, think of yourself as a swimmer.” And so on for whatever sports activity you want to do. It’s apparently part of some new research in sport psychology, the opposite of the usual behavior-first kind of plan—where you would start running every day and then label yourself as a runner. (If you’re curious, the article is HERE.) 

Since I'm a writer, I thought this was a great parallel for writing. The more you cement a certain image of yourself in your mind—making it an integral part of your mindset—the more often that behavior will occur. If you start calling yourself a writer (whether you verbalize it to others or not), you may be more likely to start doing the things a writer does.

To apply the findings in the article to writing, the reasons this is successful make sense:
1. You begin identifying yourself with the kind of behaviors you’re targeting. It kickstarts and focuses your mental self-talk, the inner dialogue about who you are as a person and the kinds of activities you choose to engage in.
2. It increases your confidence level because you’ve already labeled yourself—it’s NOT a goal you’re still striving for, or risking failure for not having done enough to earn the label.
3. You’re more likely to plan and schedule the activities needed for being a writer (hint: sitting down with your computer/laptop/pad of paper, and WRITING).
4. You’re more likely to stick to your writing goals despite obstacles and barriers.
5. It preconditions you to success at being a writer and doing writer-related things.
6. You’re more likely to interact with and develop encouraging friendships with other writers.
7. You’re affirming that writing is an important part of your life, and you are choosing to do the activities that go along with the label of being a writer.
8. You’re more likely to work harder at the behaviors/activities of being a writer.

Go ahead. Call yourself a writer.

Do you call yourself a writer? Why or why not?
What do you think is the difference between a writer and an author—and if the terms are different to you, which one do you see yourself as?


  1. Manifesting your destiny. It works for the most part.

  2. Great post. And awesome about your cover reveal. Can't wait to see your cover!

  3. Oh I can't wait to see the cover! As for the difference, I usually think of an author as someone who has published a book while a writer is someone who's still trying to publish a book.

  4. HI, Carol!!!!

    It's been ages. SO sorry I've been out of touch... just life.... INSANE!!!! YAY for your cover reveal. Count me in! I will do one of my lovely intos for you. It will be such a pleasure! I am soon excited for you!

    How's life in Oregon? Settled in?

    I'm still flitting around. I email you as soon as I can. I just got back to Chicago and I am catching up on EVERYTHING. LOL.

  5. I signed up for your cover reveal! I'm so excited for you and your book!

    The whole labeling thing does make a lot of sense. I'll have to embrace the writer label more. :)

  6. Good strategies, Carol. Acknowledging myself as a writer did get me sitting down regularly to write.

  7. Okay! I'm a writer! I yelled it out and the kids told me they know and to stop shouting.

  8. Yep, I'm a writer!! I hadn't thought much about the psychology behind it, but it so makes sense.

  9. Yes, I'm a writer. I think it definitely helps to identify ourselves. :)

  10. I think o myself as a hobby writer, but still a writer. The difference between writer and author, for me, is an author is published and striving for a full time career as an author.

    Weird distinction?

  11. It took me a long time to call myself a writer. Now I proudly call myself one. My productivity and success shot up afterwards.

  12. This is one of those fake it until you make it mantras. And yes, they do work! Thanks, Carol!

  13. Good luck with your cover reveal! Sounds like a fun time!

    And you're right; labels are so important. I think sometimes that's why we don't give ourselves the labels we want, because we subconsciously know how much power they have and/or have trouble feeling like we deserve them. Or maybe that's just me... :-)

  14. Yes I do call myself a writer, because I do believe I qualify as one. Your post is totally spot on. :-)


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