The Pessimistic, Selfish & People-Pleasing Mindset That Made Me a Top Writer

It’s all about how you use it

Photo by Anna Tarazevich: (Pexels)

I will be very frank and say it out loud — I was not great at writing when I started. And if someone had told me I would be a Top Writer within months and that too in writing, I would have thanked him for a good laugh.

Because when I started my writing journey, everything was new to me. I did not have things sorted out for me, nor did I have a definite plan. So I had to figure out everything on my own.

And I am pretty sure it is the case with many of you.

But I always had some beliefs that I had drilled into my head. A mindset that I held on to.

Some are pessimistic — but hey, end of the day, they helped me. So, no complaints there. While some might sound under-confident, but, all in all, that’s what it is.

Good, bad, ugly — I will share with you everything and leave it to you to decide whether it is something you want to pick.

The Pessimist Mindset

Pessimism is under-rated, I will tell you.

Seeing the glass half-empty is not always bad. Pessimism is not about thinking of all that can go wrong in something. It is about holding your hopes in moderation while giving your best shot.

And preparing for the adverse outcomes. Now that cannot be bad, right? It is only but prudent.

Lower expectations

I knew it was something new for me — writing. So, I had set the bar very low. And not keeping very high hopes protected me from dejections when things did not happen in my way.

Accepting the slow pace

Things were almost not going anywhere at the start, but I told myself — this was how it was. No matter what, I would give myself a year before I called it quits.

I would have my hands full with so many things, and they would bog me down very often. But I would remind myself that things are meant to be slow, and this is how it will be, whether I like it or not.

Tolerance for rejections

I would give my all to writing a story and then submit it to a publication. But, at the same time, I would brace myself for rejection. So, when it got rejected (and trust me, it has happened a lot), that would not shatter me.

All I had to do was go through it again with a fresh set of eyes.

Since I had already visualized the situation, it was not disappointing.

Big joys in little surprises

This is the biggest one.

An acceptance in a publication, crossing a milestone of followers, creating a digital product, a mere subscription — they were all BIG boosters for me. They fueled my wagon and acted as accelerators.

I think a big plus in being a pessimist is the relative joy that one derives from small positive outcomes!

The Selfish Mindset

Once again, a tainted attribute loathed for centuries.

But for me, it worked. From the moment go, it was all about I, Me & Myself. Everything had an ulterior motive — what’s in it for me?

Not bothered by others’ success

I could see other writers zoom past me, but I had told myself I would focus on what was ahead of ME. I was least bothered. I set my mind on what I had to do.

Focus on learning

At one point, the daily barrage of new concepts and tools that came my way stressed me. So, I planned my way around them and kept learning. I ensured one thing — I had to learn something new each day. So,

My only competition — ME

I would ask myself:

Are you a better writer today than you were yesterday?

If the answer was yes, I was sorted.

The People-Pleasing Mindset

More precisely — reader-pleasing.

I always write with my reader right in front of me. I had a profile of my reader in my head, and everything I wrote was to please my reader — woo them to stay longer.

Like a lover.

Respecting the reader’s time

I always imagined my reader as impatient and in a hurry to go someplace. So, everything I said has to be either helpful or interesting. Else, I will lose them.

Always giving value

It’s always about them — the readers.

Whatever I learned, I would chop them up, make them into digestible pieces, and re-serve them with panache for my readers to consume—all the while keeping in mind that the reader finds value in it.

Final Thoughts

Do you know what blinkers or blinders are?

They are small patches of leather used for horses to restrict their peripheral vision so that they are not distracted.

I had a pair of blinders on me.

I was blind to everything else around me. However, I had and still have one thing ahead of me — a better writer each day. That is what will do the job.



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