Growth 3: Growth Through Writing and Growth Within Your Writing

A Growth Mindset

‘…a Growth Mindset encourages a positively reinforcing cycle. People who believe that their efforts and strategies can lead to success are likely to engage in learning activities and take on challenges with some enthusiasm, so they learn more, which reinforces their belief that they can learn to write well. In fact, according to some psychologists (Bandura, **: Pajares. **), this confidence, or self-efficacy, is central to motivation and learning. Students who are confident in their writing skills will work harder and persist through difficulties and, thus, will write better and learn more.’

‘ having a Growth Mindset rather than a Fixed Mindset is incredibly important when it comes to writing well. After all, the writer is at the very heart of the writing process. The reverse–being preoccupied with negative thoughts–can make writing extremely aversive. The bottom line is learning to write well is tough. It requires a growth mindset.’

by Berton Braley

With doubt and dismay you are smitten
You think there’s no chance for you, son?
Why, the best books haven’t been written
The best race hasn’t been run,
The best score hasn’t been made yet,
The best song hasn’t been sung,
The best tune hasn’t been played yet,
Cheer up, for the world is young!
No chance? Why the world is just eager
For things that you ought to create
Its store of true wealth is still meagre
Its needs are incessant and great,
It yearns for more power and beauty
More laughter and love and romance,
More loyalty, labor and duty,
No chance – why there’s nothing but chance!
For the best verse hasn’t been rhymed yet,
The best house hasn’t been planned,
The highest peak hasn’t been climbed yet,
The mightiest rivers aren’t spanned,
Don’t worry and fret, faint hearted,
The chances have just begun,
For the Best jobs haven’t been started,
The Best work hasn’t been done

Growing Through Writing

Anne-Laure Le Cunff explains how writing is good for our personal growth and mental health

  • Growth mindset: especially if it’s not something that comes easily to you, writing can be a great way to cultivate a growth mindset. Because it would be absurd to always write about the same exact thing, writing regularly will push you to progress and keep on learning.
  • Self-authorship: the act of writing about your work is an act of self-authorship in itself. It means defining your own voice and expressing your own values and beliefs. Even if you can’t control everything that happens to you, you can control the narrative through your writing.
  • Metacognition: writing your thoughts down will force you to think about your thinking. Any fuzzy thoughts need to be clearly defined in order to be written down. That’s why many people say that writing helps them better formulate their ideas.

Growth within Your Writing

You may have always enjoyed writing or you may have come to it through a different path in life, but whichever way it happened for you, there comes a time when you have to be brave and share it with someone else. At first we may just share our writing with just family and friends and then we begin to wonder if people are just being ‘nice’ because they know you.

Then comes the next step. You may join a writers group or critique group to get more genuine feedback. This is a good step in your growth of being better at your craft; and other good steps are to do courses, or find beta readers. With the help of feedback you can self-edit many times but then again comes a self-realisation that your work might need more outside help and you look for an editor.

To go down the road of publishing which is probably the ultimate dream for a writer you might take the road of self-publishing or trying traditional publishers. You may need proofreaders, editors, formatters, illustrators, cover designers and publicists if you are self-publishing in particular. You may need an agent for the traditional route. Then you need reviews for your books. You need to be able to accept rejection , harsh words or more, but on the flipside you may get praise, encouragement and tips on how to improve.

To grow in your writing you need to have a growth mindset and be willing to work and improve and you will be successful either in your own eyes or in other’s eyes. It is a journey. Don’t be afraid to grow.

 ‘In many instances it may feel like the writing is never-ending with seemingly no reward, but you may find it is simply because you are too close to the words to see how they’ve changed, and too close to yourself to measure the growth. Some of these may miss you, or may hit you without you realising, and some you may not be able to achieve until you knock the door down, but it is all important in the journey of writing.

Feel proud when you hit a milestone, no matter how small, and remind yourself that you are a writer.’

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