WIP Wednesday - Eliminate the negatives

I have the lyrics to a song running through my head today and I couldn't remember where I heard it until I looked it up. Accentuate the Positive written by Johnny Mercer.  There are several versions out there by Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby and an especially cool jazzy one by Aretha Franklin which I really like.


You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene

(To illustrate his last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do
Just when everything looked so dark)

Man, they said we better
Accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
No, do not mess with Mister In-Between
Do you hear me, hmm?

How does being positive help your writing?  I've had a couple epiphanies this week since starting Week 1 of The Artist's Way. It's amazing when someone comes up with an idea, how we automatically start to discuss the negatives and why it won't work, versus why it will work.  Or provide yes, that's good, but....  In Week 1 Recovering a sense of safety, Cameron says:   

One of our chief needs as creative beings is support.....Parents seldom respond, "Try it and see what happens" to artistic urges issuing from their offspring.  They offer cautionary advice where support might be more to the point.  Timid young artists, adding parental fears to their own, often give up their sunny dreams of artistic careers, settling into the twilight world of could have beens and regrets."  pg25
I found myself doing that not only to myself, but to my hubby and son, squashing 
their new goals and/or endeavors and watching the light go out of their face. One epiphany - eliminating the "yeah, but's" and switching to "sure, let's see what happens."  Much like never poo pooing someone's idea's during a brainstorming session or censoring that first draft, giving creativity free rein and seeing where it takes us and them. 

Still writing every single morning, working on Red Thief.  Was kind of stumped for a couple days on a scene and which direction I wanted to take with it.  The morning pages have been great for working out things on the page instead of just letting it stew in my brain. The other epiphany I had this week was when I completed one of the Week 1 tasks which is list three old enemies of your creative self worth.  The thought behind it is your historic monsters are the building blocks of your core negative beliefs.  I realized why had I stopped day dreaming and stopped journaling and basically quite writing altogether for many years.  Happy to say I've gotten over those blocks.  

And...and...and.... big step for me.  I'm finally committing, putting it in writing, stepping up and putting it out there.   My blogging days will be Wednesday and Friday and Sunday's are reserved for the 52 Books challenge which is the start of our book week.  I don't know why I've always avoided having a schedule in the past.  It's a freedom, flexibility thing.  But decided it's finally time.  Plus, we, meaning my son and I, will be unplugged during the day until 4:00 p.m.   I'm loving it, my son, not so much.  I have discovered it is much less stressful and we aren't scrambling or rushing through lessons.  Lessons aren't being put off for another 15 minutes, then another 15 minutes, and "just 15 more minutes mom".   Our days seem to be flowing better and I'm spending my time more judiciously online.

Goals for the next week are:

1) Continue Morning Pages
2) Work on Week 1 tasks in Artists Way
3) Red Thief - continue to write every day for at least half hour 
4) Complete my Short Story Final essays which are due Sunday
5) Post review of "Green"

Check out the blog hop and see how everyone else is fairing

I have a special request from my father who is looking for a non fiction writer to write up my mom's medical story.  She is one of those medical miracles that has had several things occur over the years that collectively would have killed anyone else.  She's survived a brain aneurysm and subsequent brain surgery without any handicaps, an aortic aneurysm which was only discovered when she had her kidney removed, operational meningitis and chronic pulmonary disease.  She recently had a small stroke and the doctors were simply amazed at her medical history.  She has always been the type of person that death never crossed her mind when any of this happened.  Just keeps plugging away with a positive attitude.  Dad read through her medical journal (she's quite good at journaling) and asked me to put the word out for a non fiction writer who would be willing to write her story.  Let me know if you are interested or know of anyone who is interested and will put you in touch with my dad. 


  1. LOL. I say "try it and see what happens" all the time to my coworkers and I've got the impression it drives a few of them nuts (we're programmers). Didn't realize I'd picked that up from THE ARTIST'S WAY. Still haven't gotten all the way through - I should try it again, especially the artist dates. Happy ROW80-ing.

  2. I really got a lot from you post. I have that book by Cameron. I should maybe open it up and read it huh?

  3. I just love epiphanies, don't you?

    Saying "Yes, and..." is a great tool in improvisational theatre. Instead of saying "No," or "Yes, but..." saying "yes, and" opens up so many more possibilities.

    It's a great tool in life as well.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. @memomaya - I can imagine. Most folks want you to say yes or no or but. Not try it and see what happens. Thanks for stopping by

    @staci - Yes, you should read it - soon!

    @cate - Yes, and. I'll remember that.


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