With practice, writers can develop the powerful skill of examining their own thoughts.

If you want to write more but your mind is getting in the way, one of the best things you can do is to examine your thoughts. That’s right, ask yourself what you’re thinking about and why. Pay attention to your thoughts and decide which ones you want to keep. If you had a stinky item in your refrigerator, you’d be much better off to throw it away than to leave it there with an awful odor that gets increasingly worse each day. Wouldn’t it make much more sense to get rid of the smelly thing in your refrigerator so you can enjoy opening up your refrigerator? 

The same goes with your mind. It’s critical to remove old thoughts that stink up your mind. This frees you up to enjoy the sweet thoughts that allow you to move forward on your writing projects. 

Why am I thinking this thought?

With practice, writers can develop the powerful skill of examining their own thoughts. Writers make up characters and carefully consider what they’re capable of thinking and doing. Writers have an advantage in that they can apply the same techniques to their own minds.

Based on my thoughts, am I capable of writing this or that? 

The best choice is to get rid of the rotting food in the refrigerator. All agree. Clean up the mess and move on with your day.

Likewise, when you notice a painful thought coming up, stop and ask yourself what it would take to remove the thought. It’s worth taking the time to clean up before moving on. 


MAN’S mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.

James Allen, As a Man Thinketh


To be a successful writer, you must take the time to pay attention to your thoughts. Weed out the mental whispers telling you that you don’t deserve to succeed, that you’re not as good as your favorite authors, and that you don’t have what it takes to publish a successful book. If you choose to hold onto these limiting thoughts, they will hold onto you and your future. 

Pull out these invading thoughts and, instead, plant uplifting thoughts. 

The first step is to take conscious control of your thoughts and pluck them away as needed, just as you would do with a smelly item in your refrigerator. It’s crazy to leave even one smelly item in your refrigerator. It only get worse and it troubles you every time you go back to open that refrigerator door. 

Choose, instead, to stop everything you’re doing to extract that item from the refrigerator. Clean up all the sticky residue and observe how much nicer the refrigerator is. It’s pleasing when you can enjoy the smells and sights you see when you open that door. 

The same is true when you begin writing. What thoughts are going through your mind? Are there any thoughts you need to extract before you proceed? 

This will help your writing process immensely. Pay attention to the feelings that come up through your thoughts. Extract all rotting thoughts. Do this daily. As you come back to write day after day, you can experience the fragrant sensation of a positive writing experience. 


Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful and pure thoughts, By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life. He also reveals, within himself, the laws of thought, and understands, with ever-increasing accuracy, how the thought forces and mind elements operate in the shaping of his character, circumstances, and destiny. 

James Allen, As a Man Thinketh


This sounds like a great idea, you might be thinking, but it’s not so easy to accomplish. I’ve had these negative thoughts following me around for years and you’re telling me to pluck them away as if it were as easy as removing a smelly item out of the refrigerator? 

Yes, it might not seem as easy, but rest assured that there is no difference in the degree of difficulty. One is not harder than the other. It’s a choice to hold onto that which you do not want to experience. Is it not just as easy to pluck it out of your mind and life rather than to suffer with it for more months to come? 

Which then is more difficult: to silence the rotting thoughts or to feed the positive thoughts? Weeding out the negative thoughts that come up with writing is, indeed, preferable to suffering with them for more years to come. 

But how exactly can you do this? The good news is that you don’t have to do this all on your own. In fact, it’s easier to do in the company of others. Partner with fellow writers who are also dedicated to mastering their craft. Surround yourself with others who are going in the same direction, others who are making progress toward their writing goals, and encouraging you to do the same. 

Sign up for Prolific Writers Cafe today and start building the writing community you need to achieve your writing goals. 

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