writer mindset

Writer Mindset: 10 Inspiring Tips

Ann O'Brien

Ann O'Brien

June 8, 2023

Having the right writer mindset to be successful is not just a happy accident. Most people, writers included, have to intentionally work on their outlook on life, writing and everything in between to have the right mindset to support their personal and professional goals. While you may see someone who is always happy, perennially positive, or seems to be never negative, the truth is that much of the time their mindset is what sets their perspective on life.

Why Writer Mindset Matters

As an author, your writer mindset is critically important to help you meet your goals, whether you want to finish your first manuscript or even move through the self-publishing process. Writing and publishing a book is hard work, it takes a while to complete and so it is easy (and common!) for writers to lose some of their motivation during the process.

But since how we think guides our actions, following simple writer mindset tips to keep your actions and thinking moving in the same direction will help you to accomplish your writing goals. Check out our 10 writing tips to help you keep a positive mindset so you can fulfill your dream of becoming a published author.

1. Writer Mindset Tip: Remember that Your Writing Experience Will Be Unique

Comparison truly is the thief of joy. Every writer’s journey is going to be different, so comparing yours to another writer’s – especially one who found success very quickly or seemed to just glide through the writing and publishing process without any hiccups or roadblocks – can mess with your writer mindset. Be happy for them and learn from their efforts, and then remind yourself that everyone reaches their goals with different struggles and successes, some that you may not even see.

Instead, think about your writing experience as being unique to you, your life, and your personal goals. No matter how quickly you finish up your first book, your second book or even your tenth will likely always be slower and faster than another writer. But forging your own path toward becoming a published author will free you from the problems that come with the negative writer mindset problems that result from comparing your writing journey to anyone else’s.

2. Don’t Put Too Much Weight into Opinions of Non-Writers

Second in our list of writer mindset tips is to make sure that you listen to those that have walked in your shoes. We love to take advice from trusted friends or family members who have our best interest at heart, but regardless of how well-meaning the suggestions may be, unless they have written their own book and made it through the self-publishing process, they just don’t have the personal experience to guide you through the process.

Writing is deeply personal and the craft of taking a concept for a book and then working tirelessly to mold and shape it into a manuscript is an artistic endeavor that is not comparable to many other things. So authors who want to keep a positive writer mindset about their process, their timeline, overcoming challenges, and successfully taking their concept to publication should try to limit their outside input from those who don’t have any experience writing.

Take constructive feedback for what it is and lean on the advice and support from those who know what it is to write. Someone who has never worked with the craft may not understand your motivation to write or feel compelled to transform your ideas into a published book.

3. Listen to Those Who Have Walked Your Path

Learn from those who have become published authors. Follow successful authors on social media to gain insight into their work, read their author website’s “about the craft” section and let their trials, successes, and failures help you in your writing journey. Becoming a published author takes grit and determination but it’s easier to develop those admirable attributes when you see how others have persevered and reached their own writing goals.

4. Writer Mindset Tip: Keep Your Personal and Professional Successes Separate

When you receive negative feedback about your writing or your process, it may be hard to not take it personally. But your writing successes and failures do not define you, even though it might feel like they do. Intentionally mentally separate what you do from who you are both to help you listen to constructive feedback so you can adjust, rework, and move on.

Choosing to limit your input to those who can support your writing and understand what it’s like to be a writer will make it easier to keep your mental mindset in check. So when you do receive the inevitable negative feedback, it will feel less personal and more professional in nature.

Every author should be interested in growing and improving as a writer, so accepting helpful feedback and learning to apply it to your craft can also improve your writer mindset since you will be able to point to concrete changes and improvements in your writing.

5. Think of Writing as a Business

Becoming a successful publishing author is more than just penning a book, although that is a big part of it. Growing your personal brand is how you help readers discover your work, learn about your book and upcoming work, and how readers turn into fans. As an author, you will need to think about marketing your book, planning out your book launch, and keeping in touch with your fans as you publish any books or projects in the future.

Just like any business, you need a plan to be successful. Thinking of your writing as a business and a brand that can be developed and nurtured over time will help you to take charge of the aspects of your writing career that you can control and guide.

6. Treat Writing Like A Job

An important writer mindset tips is to start treating your craft professionally. Prioritize writing, learn more about the craft to make your writing better, and develop your plan to get your book finished and published. Creating task lists, like you would be expected to do at a job, will help you begin to think about your writing as a career and not a hobby or something you do in your free time. Make your writing time sacred and don’t let it become an afterthought in your schedule.

7. Stay Inspired

Writing is an artistic pursuit, so take time to feed the creative side of your life to help you stay inspired. If you are writing a horror book, you don’t have to only seek out similar books or authors to stay inspired. Instead, do things that build your creativity, develop your writing craft and make you happy.

  • Find author blogs to follow. Staying connected to the writing community will help you see the value in your own work.
  • Join discussion groups for writers to bounce ideas off of and to build motivation in each other.
  • Read as much as you can. You will see the literary devices, story composition, and character development in a different light once you have written your own.
  • Take courses to learn more about the craft and build your confidence as a writer.

8. Prioritize Your Goals

One of the most important writer mindset tips for a writer struggling to stay on track mentally is to prioritize their writing goals. Put completing your book, and all of the little steps you need to take along the way to finish this task, at the top of your to-do list every day.

Don’t let your book writing dream be pushed to be back burner because you become busy with life because there will always be something that pops up to snag your attention away if you let it. By prioritizing your writing goals, you give importance to your drive to become a published author which will have a positive impact on your writer mindset.

9. Anticipate Difficult Times

Writing a book and preparing a manuscript for print is not an easy task and some days won’t be easy. So mentally prepare for those challenges so you can work through them and not let them derail your plans of becoming a published author.

Many authors suffer from writer’s block at one time or another in their writing career. By acknowledging that you might experience a short or even long time of writer’s block, you can prepare your writer mindset to move past this temporary but extremely frustrating bump in the road.

10. Celebrate Little Victories

And finally, one of our favorite writer mindset tips to help you keep your mindset positive is to celebrate every victory or positive in your writing, no matter how small. Publishing a book may take a long time, so waiting to pop the champagne until you send your manuscript off to the printer won’t keep most writers motivated during the days, weeks, or months it takes most writers to finish their work. Did you meet your writing goal this week?

Do a little happy dance to celebrate. Have you completed your final chapter and are now ready to start editing? Tell your writing peers about your accomplishment and prepare to hear the congratulations pour in. And when you have finalized your manuscript, completed your last edit and double-checked your file for the final time before you send it off to the printer, go ahead and pull out the fancy glasses for the real celebration.

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