I forgot I had this link saved to my Tumblr so I’m saving it here. 🙂
I recently wrote an article called “The ‘Lack Mentality’ Is Killing Us” and it is quite a direct discussion about how we hold ourselves back by reinforcing a self-defeating mentality. Writers and other artistic spirits really need to consider this, I think, because often the way we think blockades what we feel and often what we feel is the ink in our pens. Sometimes the stresses we put on our mentality make us run out of ink too quickly. Of course, I’m considering the external and uncontrollable factors in life that contribute to poor mental health as well, but nothing kills the creative drive faster than the “lack mentality”, which I define as: “the constant focus on what you don’t have or the habit of running away from the truth of your reality.” It truly is a slow, subtle suicide.
Real quick, I’m going to go over the points in my article and put them in a writer’s perspective:
- Unrealistic Expectations: A writer who sets super high or super low expectations on whatever they’re working on is encouraging delusion. Of course we want our writing to be good. Of course it may not be like some of the authors we admire. Having expectations is a taught behavior. Why not challenge yourself to see your writing just as it is? Keep it neutral. I’m working on a science-fantasy novel. I’m nearly at 58k words. That’s it. No shame. No forced praise. I’m writing a book. The goal is to finish it, get it published, and share it. (Goals are different than expectations. Goals are realistic marks to work towards in the present reality. Expectations are intangible illusions floating in your consciousness without substance in your present reality.)
- Shameful Views of the Authentic Self: Stop shitting on yourself. Please. Shame is not humility. Oh you made mistakes in your first or final draft? That’s okay. Your mistakes DO NOT erase your progress. No matter what kind of skill or resources you believe you’re missing to become successful, it will NEVER be a valid excuse to tear yourself or your work down. Period.
- Perpetual Negativity = Dis-ease: It didn’t hit me that disease was “dis-ease” until I started studying metaphysics. If you have dis-ease, aka discomfort, within you mentally or emotions, it needs to be addressed. Each moment you turn a blind eye to it for whatever self-depreciating reason you have, you are hurting your art. If you had a physical injury, you would go to the doctor immediately so it doesn’t get worse. Do the same for your mental and emotional health. You deserve it. The realms of thought and emotion is where your writing thrives! Writing is a wonderful vent and it can be a very good tool for being introspective, but there are some traumas that need even more serious attention. You are worth the attention, but ultimately, the choice is yours.
- Poor Application of Support and Resources: I recently discovered that if you follow people who tweet the #writerscommunity tag, they will follow back, chat with you, share their thoughts on writing and more. If you reinforce your own “lack mentality” you may think to yourself “What’s the point? Will they really like my writing? How could that advice help me when I’m not a good writer? I could try, but it won’t bring much progress.” Building those connections takes time and honestly, with the internet, it may not be as long as you think and may help you more than you realize. Whether it takes forever or not to network and market your writing, stop expecting (see point 1 again) instant gratification. Just like your writing process takes time, seeing the results of the support and resources you have applied to your work will also take time. In fact, your lack mentality took time to develop; it will take time to tear down its development too.
- No Sense of Prioritizing Health (Impulsivity): Quick story. When I was clinically depressed in 2016, to the point of indulging in self-destructive behaviors, such as physical harm, I deleted A LOT of the writing, artwork, and music that I created. I was making a little bit of money with it too, but I destroyed it all. My priorities for my artistry were shot to shit. My impulses took over and I wanted to do everything in my power to destroy my dream career because I felt I didn’t deserve it. I wanted to escape my own dreams. Little remnants survived that chaos and that’s why I’m here today writing this. If I had addressed the help I needed instead of clinging to temporary satisfactions that helped me distance myself from what was bothering me, things would be different. Your impulses aren’t always what you need. It’s not the same as instinct. Impulse is natural, but it’s worth understanding and evaluating whether it benefits your essential needs or not. So, writers, what are you escaping from? Does your procrastination benefit you in the long run or is it just temporary satisfaction?
- Invest In Yourself: 2016 was a year of hell for me, but I’m pretty sure my depression existed so much earlier than that. As it goes on, it’s hard to value yourself, your skills, and your ambitions. You must believe you are worth investing in if you’re going to fight the lack mentality. I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m saying it’s necessary. It’s a need that must be prioritized. “If you come to terms with what your lack mentality truly is, eventually surviving it will become living.”
So yeah, I felt the need to share that. Read the full article here if you’d like. Thank you for reading and I really hope this helped.