Teaching Writers Growth Mindset

by @thewritermama on February 4, 2015 · 11 comments

9604351859_1012b35cd3_zIn America, we have been raised to believe that anyone can succeed if they are determined enough and work hard and consistently over time.

As a writing coach, I have seen this belief in action. From my perspective, the most determined writers, who never give up and bounce back fastest seem to succeed the most, as opposed to the most talented writers, who often give up quite easily, and therefore don’t succeed as much as you might expect.

Determined writers who enjoy learning and thrive on growth, are also just a lot more fun to work with and to be around than writers who project superiority and entitlement.

Writers with grit spend a lot less time feeling sorry for themselves or thinking that they will never succeed.

If you are a writer, and you are feeling stuck, ask yourself if you have mastered the all-important growth mindset.

According to an uncited handout from my daughter’s school, growth mindset means you embrace challenges rather than avoiding them.

You persist in the face of setbacks rather than giving up too easily.

Growth mindset means you see effort as positive, and as a path to mastery rather than fruitless or worse.

It means you learn from criticism, rather than ignoring it.

And growth mindset means you find lessons and inspiration in the success of others rather than feeling threatened by their success.

People with growth mindset, reach ever higher levels of achievement, because they set their minds on becoming more successful.

The other way of thinking, a fixed mindset, is likely to inhibit you from achieving your potential.

Furthermore, folks with a fixed mindset maintain a deterministic view of the world.

After 14 years as a writing coach, I have had the opportunity to observe many writers in action and I have noticed that it’s not necessarily the most optimistic but the most determined folks, who succeed.

It’s not the most easily inspired, but the folks most willing to do something with the inspiration, who succeed.

It’s the folks who see the journey as a process of give and take, who persist and therefore succeed eventually.

Writing career success is humbling and empowering. There is typically not a whole lot of free lunch for writers.

Writing career success is about answering the question, what are you going to do today with the best of what you have to offer?

The folks who get busy pursuing the answer to that question succeed in the short run and the long run.

So, here’s a question for you? Do you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?

Are you interested in challenges, obstacles, effort, criticism, and ultimately success…or are you content with keeping things the way they are?

Your answers are more likely to determine your fate than any amount of talent you do or do not possess.

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