How Identifying as a Writer Can Help You be More Productive?

Do you identify yourself as a writer? In other words, do you tell others you are a writer? Or do you just keep being a writer a secret from others because of a fear of ridicule? Psychologists believe that the way we see ourselves can have a dramatic effect on our actions in the short term. Therefore, if we identify ourselves as a writer, we will get to our desk and/or computer to write every day. How can we not do things that are part of our identity? I believe being a writer and writing is an expression of self. This means that our self-image impacts our behavior and impulses. Identity is another cognitive shortcut that helps our brains make otherwise difficult choices in advance, streamlining our decision-making. And this is important for writers, because its important for you not to have to decide when you are going to write but to pre-commit to your writing, and then show up. This then allows you to make plans to write every day because you are a writer, and you can define your character as a writer. One way you can reinforce your identity is through rituals. For instance, religious people pray a few times a day. This becomes a ritual for them, and they pray without fail every day. What if we applied the same discipline and ritualistic behavior pattern to our writing career? When we do something in a ritualistic fashion, we are tapping into the dedication to accomplish a difficult task. Imagine being able to focus on your larger goal because you are committed through a ritual. Rituals help you become indestructible. They also help you focus on your writing goals and complete your goals. Further, you will be more committed to telling your family that you need to write. And they will ultimately accept your time away from them because being a writer is who you are. And if they care about you, they will want you to be content and fulfilled in your life. Therefore, try to set up rituals for your writing time every week. Then make sure that you schedule it in your planner. Put it in a prominent place so that you see it when you come into your office and get writing. I hope you will journal about what your relationship is to your writing and the creative life. If you are stumbling, please dig deeper and see if you really identify as a writer or if writing is just another hobby. Try it!