Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Silencing the Negative Voice: Why You MUST (IWSG)

How often do you hear that inner voice telling you you're not good enough, not smart enough, not talented enough, not awesome?


It's easy to get caught in a mental rut. And yes, picture a rut. The brain is like a series of ruts in the mud that we reinforce by running the same track again and again. It can be difficult initially to get over the ridge of those ruts to brave new paths, especially if we've been on them a long time, but YOU MUST.

So how do you go about doing that?

Start each day with a stern talking to--no I'm serious. Stand in front of the mirror and recite:

I am beautiful/strong/powerful.

I will succeed today.

I am awesome.

Success starts with believing in yourself. Greater physical health results from a positive mental dialog, and who doesn't need some of that?

When negative thoughts begin to intrude, KICK THEM OUT. That's right. Don't carry that kind of weight with you. Replace those messages by counting your successes.

Along that vein, the IWSG group proposed a question today:

What is the best thing someone has said about your writing?

I have a hard time believing the words of praise I hear. I keep listening to the inner dialog with excuses like, "They only said that because they know you." "They didn't really like it, but saying otherwise would be rude, so..." BUT, I'm listening to my own advice today and focusing on the positive.

I've heard so many wonderful things throughout the years, so I'll pull up just a couple short snatches:


"The most entrancing thing I've ever read." 

"I fell head over heels for the characters."

"I fell off my chair with jealousy over your writing."

"Crystal Collier is a genius of a wordsmith."

Huge thanks to all the amazing people who have built me up, and more importantly, supported my writing through beta reading, reviews, book purchases, and word of mouth. You are amazing. You've made my career. I LOVE YOU TO CHEESE AND BACK!

Are you stuck in the mud? What mental rut are you working to overcome?

And speaking of great writing, time to give some away, eh?

Last week Melanie Schultz shared two truths and one lie. The winners were entered to win their choice of eBook: THE NEWSTEAD PROJECT, ERRON, 2084, or BLACKBIRD.

The game:

1. I am a concert pianist.

2. My husband used to drive a race car.

3. I have three dairy sheep: Daisy-May, Lucy-Lu, and Sunshine that I plan to milk and make homemade cheese with.

The lie: #1. Melanie says she has musical talent whatsoever. So yes, she really does make cheese from 3 dairy sheep! Is she awesome or what?

Way to guess everyone! And the winner is:


Congrats, woman!

And now for today's giveaway

“First, do no harm.” Blake Ryan swore that oath to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals. 

Things are different now. Using regular shots of morphine to keep his inner monster at bay, Ryan has led a quiet life since the Second World War. His thrills now come from saving lives, not taking them. 

Until a plane crash brings Aleria into his hospital. Her life is vibrant. Crack to predators like him. She’s the exact sort of person they would hunt, and thanks to a severe case of amnesia, she’s all but defenseless. 

Leaving Aleria vulnerable isn’t an option, but protecting her means unleashing his own inner monster. Which is a problem, because his inner monster wants her dead most of all.
Get Your Copy HERE.

Today I'm giving back a little of that writerly love I've received. I had the opportunity to review Misha's book, and this is what I had to say:

Secret societies. Battles and alliances. Unique powers and humanity’s survival in the balance… This story has it all. Follow three characters whose immortal histories are intertwined and will only become more so.

Read the full review HERE:

Ready to meet the author?

Misha Gerrick lives near Cape Town, South Africa, and can usually be found staring at her surroundings while figuring out her next book. Her favorite cheese is haloumi.

If you’d like to see what Misha’s up to at the moment, you can find her on these social networks:

Tumblr | Twitter | Google Plus | Writing Blog

Misha gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. Those who figure out the lie will go into my magic hat for the chance to win an eBook of ENDLESS. (Open internationally.)

You have until Tuesday, July 19 at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answers on July 20, 8 a.m. EDT.

1. I'm currently wearing my hair the shortest I've ever worn it. 
2. Mashed potatoes is my ultimate comfort food.
3. I've recently resumed my classical vocal lessons.
So sleuths, which is the lie? Are you stuck in the mud? What mental message are you going to overcome?


  1. You made someone fall off her chair? Whoa...
    Misha is so busy, I'm going to say the third one is the lie.
    And I suspected Melanie really did make cheese from her sheep.

  2. I agree with all those wonderful comments!
    "Crystal Collier is a genius of a wordsmith." Definitely!

    I think the lie is no#3. I know Misha sings, but I'm not sure if she's resumed vocal lessons. A bit of guesswork in between.
    Happy IWSG Day, Crystal!
    Writer In Transit

  3. WOW!!! Awesome compliments. Genius of a Wordsmith would've cracked my face into a smile for a month!!!

    Great Inspirational Post, Crystal, with dire family problems, I needed this today. Thank You!!!!!!

    I'll take lie #1

  4. Positive affirmations! Yes, there really are pathways in the brain and we have to consciously work to redirect them.

    I'll say #1 is the lie. Mashed potatoes is a wonderful comfort food.

  5. I love your opening to your post. It's true, opinions are out there and they're just opinions. For every negative there is always a positive. Awesome compliments too! I am guessing the first one is a lie :)

  6. And I was certain that she was a concert pianist! Damn! :) Congratulations, Nicola!

    Love the words of praise, but yes, the negative does seep in once in a while. Maybe too often, but a great review with such wonderful words does wonders! All well deserved, you are an awesome writer!

    1. Almost forgot to pick a lie. I'm going with #3. Mashed potatoes are a great comfort food and short hair is great this time of the year!

  7. I do the same thing with compliments - they're so often hard to accept and believe!
    I'll go with #2 as the lie - and I'll guess it's really mac & cheese :)

  8. Oh my!! I love my writing blogger friends. Until I joined the lovely writing bloggers community, I had never won a thing and now I've won my second prize ever!! Chuffed to bits :) Thank you.
    I agree with the comments, Crystal - A-mazing writer!! So pleased people are sharing their thoughts with you. Sometimes readers forget how much writers love to hear they've enjoyed our words. Good for you!
    Misha has been so busy and deserves success. I think b is a lie. Mashed potato is too time consuming to make in order to be a comfort food - even though it is yummy!

  9. Silencing the negative voice - so important! It's an ongoing thing that needs constant maintenance. Reminds me of the scripture about casting down imaginations. I agree with you, replacing the negative with positive is key. Thanks so much for the encouragement! :)

  10. Hi, Crystal...
    EXCELLENT post. I can so relate the the rut and the mud... I pull myself out with creative endeavors and JUST GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE. It's amazing what a walk and the park and do to clear the mud away....

    WHAT AMAZING comments! Well deserved.

    I think the lie is #3

  11. I love the affirmations, Crystal. I already started them now. Like you I too am not too good at receiving compliments, I feel people say that because they are trying to be polite and not hurt my feelings.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

  12. Awesome pep talk! And you are a fantastic writer. :) Hmm, the lie is #1.

  13. Excellent post, Crystal! Thanks so much for the reminder, especially the part about positive self talk.

    And what awesome compliments on your writing!

  14. Love when others affirm me, but I too have issues with believing kind words about myself. You are an awesome writer, Crystal.

  15. I've mastered pushing out negative thoughts, I admit I need them sometimes to kick my butt. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  16. I laughed out loud upon seeing the computer being flung out the window paired with: When negative thoughts begin to intrude, KICK THEM OUT. You made my week Crystal, really, you did. And yes those negative thoughts need to get their ass kicked. Those things fester and steal your joy.

  17. Those are some fabulous compliments to help silence the nagging negative voice! Misha is doing so much, I'm inclined to believe she wouldn't being adding vocal lessons to her list. So I'm going with #3.

  18. Yay for Misha! Looking forward to reading this one :) Hmm, going to guess that #2 is the lie!

  19. I've doubted myself many times. I've also had a problem with a bit too much ego too. But confidence in ourselves is the first step in instilling confidence in others. Yay for self-peptalks!

  20. Woo Hoo, Crystal. That's a great post. One we all need!
    And what great compliments.
    Misha, love the cover! Sounds like another great read. I'm going with 3.

  21. YES!! It starts with us. I can't believe anything good about my writing if I don't first believe it myself. Your writing really is beautiful. :) The best compliment I got on the last story I sent out was that the writing was really strong and beautiful. I always wanted someone to say that to me. Now I want to hear, "This was so good! I couldn't put it down!!" That's coming next. Lol! ^_^

    Hmm, I going with #1 for the lie. I can see her with a pixie cut. ^_^

  22. Wow, thanks for the pep talk, Crystal! Congrats to Misha on her new release. I'm going to guess #1 is the lie!

  23. "I love you to cheese and back" - that's fabulous! Cheese is one of my favorite things :-)

    I'm loving this month's IWSG prompt. It's a great opportunity to put aside one's insecurities and remind yourself that people do like what you do.

    I'm going to guess that #2 is a lie. Cheers - Ellen |

  24. Love your positive statements!
    Love you to cheese and back, too! :)
    #2 is definitely the lie.

  25. It's hard for me to accept compliments; I usually believe that they're just saying it to be nice or polite and that they don't really mean it.

  26. Negative voices can STUFF IT! ;) I've started to say positive things each morning. I think they're helping.

    Being called a genius wordsmith is amazing indeed.

  27. I've always been jealous of your writing, and that was before we were friends, so you know it's true. You definitely have a way with voice. Never stop believing in yourself.

  28. Crystal what I have read from you I have loved... I still remember some of those short stories you shared. I think it's sad that we believe the worst of ourselves and not the best... I try to reinforce the best with my daughter and remind her to love herself... I work on that with myself all the time. I need to add in more positive affirmations ♡♡♡ xox

  29. Very good advice. Negative thoughts are insidious, they can pile up and up until they topple over and bury us!

  30. I think it's nice that this month's IWSG post is about things people have said to build you up. It's important to notice those things. Too often we look at the negatives. Crystal - you are a very talented writer! Everything you've written that I've read has been excellent!

  31. The rut is a perfect analogy. I have a terrible time not listening to my negative voice, but I'm getting better at making it shut up.
    I chuckled at the person who fell of their chair with jealousy. Funny to imagine and a fantastic compliment all at once! :)

    Also, I'm going to guess #3 is the lie for Misha.

  32. I couldn't agree more! It's important to say "yes" to ideas instead of "no." Especially on that first draft:)

  33. Oh how that photo brings back memories! I've actually been stuck in THAT rut and it was no fun:)
    I'm thinking the same thing as Alex, you made someone fall off a chair, awesome!

  34. You are totally right - kick those negative thoughts to the curb!!

  35. people are most often their own worst enemies :)

  36. Those are some mighty fine compliments on your writing. Wow.

    I don't think your hair is the shortest it's ever been.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  37. Hi Crystal
    The best thing someone has said about my book is: "This is the best book of the decade." Made my heart flutter.

    Since you read my blog you know the challenges I face and while I don't stand before the mirror I do have a way to combat negative voices. Turn them into villains and slaughter them. No, seriously, I turn my thoughts away.

    No. 3 for Mischa, who is a lovely person. I've already bought her book.

  38. Excellent advice and an excellent way to start the day. Getting on the right foot! My inner demons tell me that stuff too--"They're only being nice". I'm working on that too.:)

  39. I'm guessing the lie is #3.

    I got stuck in a rut for a long time, due to my complete lack of sales for over a year. I felt like I'd failed at marketing, and people had only been humoring me or saying what was expected when they said they were looking forward to buying and reading my books. As soon as I get two of my covers revamped, I'm going to get physical copies of all my books out there, and start targeting actual readers instead of only other writers.

  40. I need to give myself more pep talks. As for Misha, I can't believe mashed potatoes is her comfort food. It is my top least favorite food in the entire world. LOL

  41. "I fell off my chair with jealousy over your writing." <---Love that.

    Excellent advice...and something I certainly need to do.

  42. Knocking someone off their chair is grand feedback indeed. The cat already thinks I'm nuts as I talk to myself, pretending to talk to him. What? lol

    lie is #3?

  43. That's positive psychology! I teach about it in my classes :-)

  44. I'll guess #3 is the lie.

    Self-encouragement is a great way to start the day! I should try that myself. It's great that you've received so many compliments for your writing!

  45. Great advice! And I love Misha's cover. So pretty!

  46. I'm definitely stuck in the mud right now. My destructive message is that I'm trapped and that my life sucks. Sure, things have been extremely tough this year, but I still have a lot to be grateful for. As for feeling trapped, there has to be an escape hatch around here somewhere...right?

    I adore Misha. I'll go with #1 as the lie.

  47. I admit to being stuck in a bit of a negative rut. A couple manuscripts have died on submission, and I haven't had a YES since 2012. Okay, yeah -- that was a yes for 3 books, but they are all written now, and I keep wondering if I'll ever hear YES again.

    The answer is, of course I will, unless I give up.
    So I can't give up. Right?

  48. I'm in a pretty good place right now, at least in my creative life, but I have been stuck in ruts many times. The longest one for me was the "someday" rut: as in, I'll do that someday, when (insert excuse here). Good thoughts! Thanks for the post.

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

  49. Thank you for your positive message, Crystal. Great words.

  50. I've been stuck in a spacey kind of rut. I'm hoping that's dissipating somewhat. It's time to cut off the Internet and force out some words, methinks. But I'm looking forward to the anthology being out and eight people bought my novella just this past week,so things are looking up.

    Also, I think #1 is the lie.

  51. Good advice Crystal. And Misha's story sounds awesome with great cover.

  52. I wonder why it is that we so often take mean comments and harsh criticisms to heart, but the really wonderful things people say, we tend to brush off as being insincere flattery? Human nature, I suppose. We just have to learn not to let the petty remarks tear us down... or to let the flowery remarks inflate our heads too much. Especially when one is a talented wordsmith like you. (Great compliment!) (And it's true!)

    It is very very cool that Melanie actually makes her own cheese!!!

    I loved Misha's book, so I don't need to be included in the giveaway, in the highly unlikely event that I actually guess the lie correctly for a change. I'd say #1 is false. (Maybe, like me, she was bald at birth.)

  53. Great advice. We all need a pep talk now and then, and starting the day right is the perfect time to do it.

  54. Thank You!!! The reminder i MOST needed . . . powered by cheese.

  55. Silencing the negative voice is so important. Just reread those great comments to drown it out :)

    I think Misha's lie is #1.

  56. It is hard to take compliments...why's that I wonder? But you've had some wonderful things said of your writing. And I agree. Your books are great now I must review them! That's the trouble with reading so many...getting time to review or remembering which ones I've reviewed. Great post. Congrats to Misha! :-)

  57. Those are amazing compliments that not just any writer gets. You ARE awesome, dammit.

    Congrats to Misha! I'm going with #2 as the lie. We all know Mac and CHEESE is the ultimate comfort food. ;)

  58. I'm with you on not always believing the compliment. That's when it's awesome when they come from people who have no reason/ulterior motive to give you one.

    Oh noes! Melanie really does make homemade cheese!!! Are you jealous? (giggle)

  59. What great advice! Positivity is so important!

    Congrats to Nicola, and good luck to entries in the new guessing contest!

  60. Thank you for visiting my site today for #IWSG. You have received some excellent compliments about you writing. Funny how difficult it becomes to believe the statements are honest when in a negative frame of mind. Your advice to work out of a rut is beneficial positive thinking.

  61. I love your mirror therapy. I'm going to adopt it.

  62. It's always awesome to hear great things. It's an affirmation of the outward kind. The inward kind are also important.

    Yay for Misha! It's a great story she wrote. I'll guess #2 is the lie.

  63. Now, who was it who said "whether you think you can, or whether you think you can't, you will most likely be right"? Yes, the power of positive thinking.

    That, and cheese of course.

  64. I find myself in the rut every now and then. But I don't stay there long. Even if I need to pause for a moment, I try to give myself something positive to cling to and that tends to help me rise from the negative things trying to weigh me down

  65. It's easy to let your mind stay in the thoughts that it knows. Harder to break free.

    Lie, I'm going to guess #1.

  66. You're so right. That negative voice is always there. We just have to go away. I like the things you said to recite. Will remember them.
    Congratulations on your new novel, Mischa. I think #2 is the lie.

  67. It's really helped me to try to focus on the truth. Often these negative thoughts are my imagination making up what people are thinking. You've had some really nice things said about your work--cherish those!

  68. The mind is such a powerful thing. I love your phrases to recite—I might have to try them! :)

    Those are some great compliments you've gotten—and all true! I've read your writing, so I should know. :)

  69. Good tips. I really need to take that negative inner voice in my head, duct tape it, and lock it away in the basement!

  70. You're so right. We need to give ourselves a stern talking to every morning. Affirm ourselves in a positive way. I have a few of positive readings that I read every morning. They strengthen my belief muscles.
    Shalom aleichem,

  71. I think #2 is the lie - as much as I love mashed potatoes :)

    Congrats to Misha!

  72. I don't know why it's so much easier to believe the criticisms than the praise, but it is.

    Congrats Misha! Sounds like a great book!

  73. Definitely good advice, I try to stay positive. What fabulous compliments, Crystal. Such a boast to hear lovely things about our work.

  74. Misha blows my mind with everything that she does! I say #3 is the lie.

    ... Why is it NOT believing in ourselves comes most natural? I love this post. So true, and now I'm running of the mirror to tell myself how awesome I am lol

    S.K. Anthony: The Decline in Ebooks — It’s Not What You Think

  75. I feel like I'm always stuck in a mental rut. I'm always thinking I'll never get my book series finished and worst of all, I listen to my voice most often. No matter how much it pains me or I disagree with it. But if I don't push on ahead, how am I ever going to hear a 'well done' from others?

  76. Thanks for the reminder! It's so important to not use negative self talk. I've been guilty of doing it.

  77. What wonderful compliments. We must remind ourselves every day that we can do it. Thanks for reminding us.

  78. I get stuck in mental ruts so easily. I'm learning to climb my way out and inspiring posts like yours are great reminders to "keep swimming." I'm smiling from ear to ear reading the wonderful comments about your writing. :) Have a great week!

    Congratulations to Misha!

  79. Loved reading those comments about your writing. I agree! You write up a darned good tale. As to the power of positive thinking, I'm there. All I have to do is think I'm rotten, and suddenly it's true.

    I can't even guess at Misha's lie.

  80. Those affirmations are quite powerful. I haven't read your writing but I'm going to now for sure. I think Misha's lie is about her vocal music lessons.

  81. Sometimes we need to believe the compliments we're given. :)

    Congrats to Misha! I'm going to guess #2 is the lie.

  82. great, inspiring post! yes, kick out those negative baddies! and embrace the positive - more people are actually thinking the positive than saying it! i don't know why it's easier to complain than praise??

    and yay for misha! i think her lie is #2, no reason, they're all plausible!

    hope things are great with you, crystal!

  83. I'm going to say #1 is the lie.

    I have been on dirt roads out in the Midwest, where they were quite muddy. Someone else was driving, fortunately.

  84. Some days, I need a good self pep talk :)

  85. Let's go with #1 as the lie.

    You definitely need to shut that voice down. Positive enforcement is a good way to do it. I do a set of workouts that does a positive mantra as part of it, where you repeat something similar to what you wrote three times.

  86. So true we need to shut the negative voice down and be positive on how we talk to ourselves as well as others. Thanks for reminding us.

  87. Right--I don't know WHY we concentrate the most on those negatives! The rut is a great analogy. What AWESOME compliments on your book! Very nice. :)

    Misha's book sounds great, and I love the cover! Just added it to my Goodreads list!

  88. Great post. It's so hard not to listen to the negatives. I'm not good enough, I can never write like so and so author. Facing the mirror to go opposite against that negativity is something we must do. Because to keep on and not give up on our writing, we need to learn as writers to believe in ourselves just as much as others believe in us.

  89. Well, let's see... I am beautiful/strong/powerful. Not really. I used to be quite the catch. Now not so much.

    I will succeed today. I like this one. Make sure your goals are doable.

    I am awesome. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Really?

  90. There are times when I have nothing *but* the negative mental rut, but I've never let it interfere with getting work done. I don't know how and I wish it was something I could teach, but I've learned how to just sit down and get to work regardless of how bad I'm feeling at the moment. And what really helps is that doing work - even when it doesn't turn out right - helps banish the negativity, at least for the time that I'm working.

    When I'm not working is something completely different. >_<

  91. That's a clear sign of how powerful and effective the story is. Wow! Good job!

  92. It is sadly human nature sometimes to concentrate on the negatives...I do not know why people do that. It always irks me to see people do that :) what a person concentrates on is a CHOICE!!

    I wish you a wonderful start into the new week :)

  93. I'm guessing vocal lessons is the lie, but who knows! Remembering praise goes very far. VERY far.

  94. I had someone the other day say they loved me book and I had to resist asking "are you sure it was my book?" It's hard to wrap my head around those compliments sometimes.

  95. I'm a firm believer in getting rid of negativity immediately. Two months ago, I let negativity fester for a week and now I'm still unable to get back to where I was even the week before that.

  96. PS thanks so much for hosting my book! X

  97. Your book sounds great, Misha! And thanks for uplifting thoughts, Crystal. Like you, I need to remember these things every day!

  98. I go with #3 as the lie.

    Mental rut: That if I try to change servers, it will ruin my computer. I need to get over this one.

    Misha's book sounds thought-provoking.

  99. I think 3 is the lie. Congrats to Nicola. I've done the mirror exercise and it works.


Hit me with your cheese!