The past couple weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions for me. But what’s been helping me stay on track is to think positive.
I’m probably the last person people would expect to say this. I tend to see the glass as half empty. Friends and family call me “the worrywart.” My therapist tells me that if you think enough negative thoughts, your brain develops these “negative grooves.” The key is to create new brain grooves with positive thoughts. And yes, this is extremely difficult for people like me. The longer you’ve been thinking negative thoughts, the easier it is for your brain to go right into that pattern because the groove is already there. Creating a new groove takes discipline.
However, I’ve made a considerable effort the past couple weeks to make some changes, both in my outlook and in my actions. As for my outlook, positivity is a big one. Here are some ways I’ve been doing this over the past week:
1)Visiting one of my favorite cities, Boston.
4) Visiting a new bookstore. It took me over 45 minutes on the T from my hotel but it was worth it. Brookline Booksmith was crowded and cozy, everything I love in a bookstore.
5) Buying a signed copy of Rob Hart’s SOUTH VILLAGE, the third in his Ash McKenna series. I just finished the second, CITY OF ROSE, on the plane and couldn’t wait to read the third.
6) Touring around Hyannis with a friend I rarely see. What a cute town. We talked about writing and the 80s (maybe the fact I’m in a 1980s anthology had something to do with it). I came away inspired and energized.
7) Writing during the trip. I even left the conference early to return to my hotel to write. I’m always jealous of those writers who can do this. I was determined to be one of these writers. I even wrote on the plane the entire trip home (almost 6 hours) on my shiny new laptop (another thing that makes me happy).
I’ll be heading to Phoenix for Thanksgiving so I’m hoping I can keep up this momentum to be inspired, think positive, and write. Even if I don’t write, I’ll be with friends whom I love dearly and when it comes down to it, that’s exactly what I need—what any of us ever need, really.
Sarah M. Chen juggles several jobs including indie bookseller, transcriber, and insurance adjuster. She has over 20 crime fiction short stories published in various anthologies and online including Shotgun Honey, All Due Respect, Crime Factory, Betty Fedora, Out of the Gutter, and Dead Guns Press. Her debut book, Cleaning Up Finn, was published May 2016 by All Due Respect Books. www.sarahmchen.com