2 Steps to your writing breakthrough. The secret to becoming an insanely efficient writer (no will power required!). Your thoughts control your feelings. Your feelings control your actions. Your actions control your results. This post has everything you need to know to get started writing and to keep writing! If you want to know the secret to finally writing a book, this is it! | Writing how to | Writers mindset | How to write a book

2 Steps to Your Writing Breakthrough

January 13, 2019

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2 Steps to your writing breakthrough. The secret to becoming an insanely efficient writer (no will power required!). Your thoughts control your feelings. Your feelings control your actions. Your actions control your results. This post has everything you need to know to get started writing and to keep writing! If you want to know the secret to finally writing a book, this is it! | Writing how to | Writers mindset | How to write a book

2 Steps to Your Writing Breakthrough

January 13, 2019

MY NAME'S KELSEY AND I'M A BOOK SLUT

Categories

Would I say my reading addiction is a problem?

Would you consider the fact that I've blown my daughter's future college fund on new books an issue? Cool, me either. I knew we'd be friends.

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2 Steps to your writing breakthrough. The secret to becoming an insanely efficient writer (no will power required!). Your thoughts control your feelings. Your feelings control your actions. Your actions control your results. This post has everything you need to know to get started writing and to keep writing! If you want to know the secret to finally writing a book, this is it! | Writing how to | Writers mindset | How to write a book

Why You Can’t Write a Book

If I were to ask you why you haven’t written that book you’re dreaming of, what would you say?

  • I have a full-time job, a family, things I have to do. I simply don’t have time.
  • Every time I try to write, all my words leave me and I’m left staring at a blank page for an hour.
  • I sit down, gung ho and ready to write, but somehow emerge 2 hours later, years deep in Suzie J’s Facebook albums and no words written.
  • Writing is too hard. I’m not cut out to be a writer.
  • I don’t know where to start.

The reasons for not writing a book are endless. Regardless of the details, here’s the simple answer:

We think working towards our dream should feel good. When it doesn’t, we think something has gone terribly wrong. So we quit.

Becoming a writer, having thousands, even millions, of people read your words, would be a dream. Being able to put your ideas on paper for the whole world to see would be magic.

But getting those words on paper feels like stepping on legos with bare feet.

Know that Working Towards a Dream Does Not Always Feel Like Butterflies and Unicorns

It’s true. Pursuing a dream does not feel like rainbows and cupcakes. It does not feel like a popsicle on a hot summer day.

I had this misconception for a really long time that the pursuit of a goal was supposed to feel like flow, like inspiration, like purpose all the time.

But once I learned and accepted that it feels scary, unfamiliar, doubtful, discouraging, impossible, and sometimes just plain awful is when I was able to break through major barriers.  

Sure, there are parts of it that feel good. Knowing you overcame a big goal. Getting that email that your book got accepted. Seeing your name in print. But that comes after many, many, many bad feelings.

In the words of Sheryl Crow, “If it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so sad?”

That Sheryl, can be answered as such:

Your thoughts control your feelings. Your feelings control your actions. Your actions control your results. If you can master your thoughts, you can master your results and therefore your life


Did that blow your mind? It definitely rocked my world.

Anything that happens in our lives that’s out of our immediate control—let’s call that a circumstance—triggers a thought in our mind. Whatever thought pops up then creates a specific feeling about the circumstance.

For instance, you might think the blank page is the enemy. It makes you feel inadequate, overwhelmed, and terrified.

But in reality, it’s not the blank page that’s making you feel so bad, it’s your thoughts about it.

Does that just sound like semantics? It’s not—it’s the difference between writing and not writing, between achieving and failing.

It’s where all the power lies because it means we hold the control over how we feel. It means we are the ones making ourselves feel awful. This is good news! It means we are also the ones who can make ourselves feel great.

There’s a simple tool that, when used often and correctly, can serve as your path to making your dream of writing a book a reality. I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s that good.

It’s called the Model and was created by Brooke Castillo. She has a great podcast called The Life Coach School Podcast that will change the way you see yourself and life.

The Model looks like this:
A


I have to admit—when first introduced to this, I was completely underwhelmed. That’s the magic tool that’s going to get me everything I want? How does it even work?

Remember, your thoughts create your feelings. Your feelings control your actions. Your actions create your results.

We’ll go through how to actually use the Model in just a second. But I want to explain how it can help first.

There are two ways to use the Model to go from no book to book:

  1. Use the Model to figure out what thoughts and feelings are preventing you from writing in the first place.
  2. Use the Model to figure out what thoughts and feelings are needed to actually start writing.

Step 1: How to Figure Out What’s Stopping You From Writing

If you want to write a book, yet have never been able to finish (or even start), it’s because negative feelings are holding you back. Remember: Thoughts→ Feelings→ Actions→ Results.

How many times have you carved out space to write, but when that time comes, you don’t feel like it?

I can raise my hand to that question a million times over.

Let’s say I planned to write at 7:00PM tonight. It’s currently 6:55PM. My hands feel like bricks, my body is filled with lead, and I can’t drag myself off the couch. I simply don’t feel like it. Writing is not happening today.

Let’s plug that into the Model.

To use the Model, you only need one piece of the puzzle to start.

And why should you always start a puzzle with the corners? Because they are blatantly obvious.

Think of your Results as the corner puzzle piece. Your results are always perfectly clear to see in any situation.

So, what is the result from the above scenario? The one where I can’t get off the couch to start writing? That’s right, No Book is Written. Let’s plug that in:

Thought:

Feeling:

Action:

Result: No book written.

The end goal here is to figure out what thought created No Book. To get there, we have to work through the Model.

Here we can see the next line is Action. For our purpose, an action is the thing we do or don’t do. What action was done or not done that caused No Book.

Simple—I didn’t write anything. Let’s plug that in:

Thought:

Feeling:

Action: Did not write anything.

Result: No book written.

Now is when it gets more introspective. Actions and results are obvious. They are black and white, simple fact.

But feelings and thoughts are only available to you. Being able to identify what you’re feeling is a skill. Without this skill, it’s hard to pinpoint your feelings. It also makes feelings seem much scarier than they really are. This leads to resistance and reaction, which makes us feel completely out of control.

Here are two pivotal things to understand about feelings:

1) Feelings are just vibrations in your body.

2) All negative actions and results are caused by negative feelings and thoughts.

For this Model, I know my action and result of not writing a book is negative. If I can’t pinpoint what the feeling was that led me to not write, I can simply put Negative in my Feeling line:

Thought:

Feeling: Negative.

Action: Did not write anything.

Result: No book written.

Now the question of the century—what was I thinking?

This is often the hardest part of the Model. We have roughly 60,000 thoughts a day. A thought is just a sentence in our mind. It might be true, it might not be true.

Most negative feelings are caused by untrue thoughts. Keep that in your back pocket because it will help you so much as you dive deeper into this work.

An easier way to figure out what I was thinking is to ask myself “what was the sentence running through my mind that kept me from writing?

Obviously there were probably thousands, but I want to pinpoint one. The Model works best with only one thought, feeling, action, and result per line.

My negative emotion that I felt was likely fear or self-doubt. If you’ve ever read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, you know that all procrastination is caused by fear. And who is one of fear’s besties? Self-doubt.

What could I have been thinking to produce the feeling of self-doubt? How bout I’m the worst writer in the entire universe. Yep, that does the trick. Let’s see:

Thought: I’m the worst writer in the entire universe.

Feeling: Self-Doubt (Negative).

Action: Did not write anything.

Result: No book written.

Now that we have a complete Model, let’s take a look at it to understand exactly how the thought created the feeling which caused the action which created the result.

  • If I think (and believe) the thought I’m the worst writer in the entire universe I would feel self-doubt. Check.
  • If I feel self-doubt, I will not write anything. Check.
  • If I don’t write anything, I will have no book written. Check.

That is the first way to use The Model. It creates awareness. It helps us to understand why we are doing what we’re doing—and more importantly, why we can’t get ourselves to do what we want to do.

You can use The Model for anything: goals, relationships, breaking bad habits, creating new habits. It works in every single scenario, but it does take a lot of practice. I found that the Model was a lot like a new math concept—it didn’t make any sense at all until one day it just clicked. The more you do it, the more powerful you’ll become.

Try one on your own right now. Start with a result you’re getting in your life that you don’t want. Work backwards through the Model to see what your original thought was that created the result.

Step 2: How to Take Action Despite Negative Feelings

After all that digging, we discovered the original thought that caused us not to write. Now what?

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as plugging a positive thought into the Model to get a positive result. Although that is our eventual goal.

For this process to work, you have to actually believe the thought.

The thought that’s creating all my problems is “I’m the worst writer in the whole world.

If I truly believe that, I can’t instantly go to “I’m the best writer in the world, J.K. Rowling needs to watch out!

There’s a lot of scientific stuff behind this, but to sum it up, all that continued thinking has created a really deep neural pathway in the brain. The brain wants to be efficient. It does this by taking the path of least resistance. Thoughts we think over and over create beliefs. Beliefs are like the superhighways of the brain.

If you were trying to get somewhere quickly and easily, you’d jump on the highway you know and love and boom, be there shortly. You wouldn’t take a backwoods path that was so covered with debris and growth you needed a machete to hack your way through, especially if you had no reason to do so. This is the same way your brain looks at it.

So how do we overcome that extremely efficient programming the brain has been forging for years on end?

We deliberately tell our brain to think a new thought. But there are two important caveats:

  1. We must currently believe the new thought.
  2. It must feel better than our current thought.

As I already mentioned, I can’t go from “I suck, I suck, I suck” to “I’m the best!” in a matter of seconds. But what I can do is find a better-feeling thought.

Remember when we talked about how working towards your dreams feels awful most of the time?

Let’s try this thought on for size: “Feeling doubtful and scared is part of the process. I’m doing it right.

Doesn’t that instantly feel better than “I suck, I suck, I suck,”?

If that isn’t jiving with you, how bout “It’s okay to feel uncomfortable. I’m not going to die.” Whoa… who said anything about dying? Your primitive brain did! To learn more about how to conquer our natural fear response, check out my post here.

This is called neutralizing the negative thought. These thoughts aren’t creating excitement and passion (which we will learn to do!) but they are taking away some of the paralyzing feelings that were happening before.

Let’s plug that new—but believable—thought into the Model:

Thought: Feeling doubtful and scared is part of the process. I’m doing it right.

Feeling:

Action:

Result:

Since the first piece of the puzzle this time is our thought, we need to work down the Model. As you can see, the next line is the Feeling line. So I can ask: “How do I feel when I think that?

Now, pay attention here because this is where the real magic happens.

Think that thought (or a similar neutralizing thought that you actually believe). Think it over and over. How do you feel? Start in your toes. Do you feel anything there when you think that thought? A tingling sensation? Any fast or slow vibrations? A tightness? Openness? Any heat? Now, move your focus to your calves. Feel anything there? Your knees, thighs, butt, stomach, arms, shoulders, chest, neck, jaw?

I always try to pay particular attention to my neck, jaw, and temples. If I feel a clenching in my jaw, that’s an indication that I’m trying to resist the emotion. The feelings themselves are harmless. It’s the resistance that creates so many problems.

You might not be able to identify what specific feeling you’re experiencing. But with some practice, you’ll be able to identify fear, doubt, overwhelm, and any other emotions as soon as they strike.

For now, remember that positive thoughts equal positive feelings. Negative thoughts equal negative feelings.

For me personally, the thought “feeling doubtful and scared is part of the process. I’m doing it right” makes me feel reassured. That actually feels pretty good. It definitely feels much better than being doubtful and panicky like my previous model.

Thought: Feeling doubtful and scared is part of the process. I’m doing it right.

Feeling: Reassured.

Action:

Result:

Now I ask myself “how would I act when I’m feeling reassured?” Remember, this is an exercise you do before your actual scheduled work time. The goal is to find a believable thought that will produce the feeling and therefore action needed to get the result you want.

Let’s see if reassured will give me the action I need:

Thought: Feeling doubtful and scared is part of the process. I’m doing it right.

Feeling: Reassured.

Action: Sit down at my scheduled writing time. Acknowledge my fear and discomfort. Start working.

Result:

Yes! We’re making headway.

But before we go on, let’s walk through a “what if”. What if I had picked a thought like “I’m going to write this book no matter what”, but when I actually started thinking it, I felt overwhelmed?

Since overwhelmed is a negative feeling, it would most likely make me procrastinate or not even start. That’s an action I definitely don’t want, which means that thought doesn’t serve me well.

If that happened, I would go back to the drawing board to try on a new thought until I found one that created the feeling, action, and result I wanted.

For now, let’s continue with our Model since it’s working well:

Thought: Feeling doubtful and scared is part of the process. I’m doing it right.

Feeling: Reassured

Action: Sit down at my scheduled writing time. Acknowledge my fear and discomfort. Start working.

Result: Show up to my scheduled work session and meet my word count for the day.

Did you see what happened between the first Model and this one? I went from being too crippled by negative emotion to write anything, to being able to push through my discomfort and continue writing. Imagine if I did that day after day. I would meet my word count goals and eventually my result would be: Have book written.

Tony Robbins says his biggest piece of advice is to work, even when you don’t feel like it.

And this right here—moving from a crippling thought to a more neutral thought—is the key.

Give the model a shot! Go through the process in Step 1 to find out what you‘re thinking that’s making you not write.

If you already know what you’re feeling that’s causing the negative results, move on to Step 2 to learn to work in spite of negative emotion.

I’d love to see your model in the comments! If you need help with a model, please email me or leave a comment and we can walk through it together.

Explore more categories:  Writer's Mindset, Writing Advice

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MY NAME'S KELSEY AND I'M A BOOK SLUT

Categories

Would I say my reading addiction is a problem?

Would you consider the fact that I've blown my daughter's future college fund on new books an issue? Cool, me either. I knew we'd be friends.

BOOK Love

KINDLE DIRECT PUBLISHING

CHICK LIT WRITING ADVICE

popular posts

17 Books Totally Worth the Hype

9 Books to Get Completely Lost In

15 Books That Are Even Better as Audiobooks

7 Ways Kindle Short Reads Will Skyrocket Your Writing Career

FAm

Join the

SUPER JUICY BOOK NEWS AND PUBLISHING TIPS
DELIVERED WEEKLY

BOOKISH THINGS