Banish Negative Thoughts

Have you ever felt like you’re riding a bike really hard, but you’re not getting anywhere? Like all your effort and work and energy hasn’t moved you at all. Then you look down and remember you’re on a stationary bike. Your tires are just spinning. But you aren’t going anywhere. You aren’t moving forward.

And your inner critic is saying, “You suck. You must be an idiot to think you can do anything, be anything, that you matter at all. You don’t. Nothing you do is good enough. You aren’t good enough.”

So basically your inner critic is Morrissey or Nick Kershaw or any alt 1980s singer from the U.K.

You’ve got to get Morrisey to shut the hell up.

We spend our days communicating with other people and with ourselves. We can get away from other people pretty easily, but it’s a lot harder to get away from ourselves.

A New Zealand study reports that people have over 60,000 thoughts every day. Not all of those thoughts are “I have to poo” or “Uh-oh. I just let one rip.” A lot of those thoughts are negative. Too many.

According to a 2005 study by the National Science Foundation, “Of those thousands of thoughts, 80% were negative, and 95% were exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before.”

Then there’s this—

A Cornell University study in 2005 found that only 15% of what we worry about actually happens and a good 79% of the people they studied realized that they could absolutely handle whatever it was that happened.

They decided that 97 % “are baseless.” Those thoughts are just us being pessimistic, negative Eeyores.

So the question becomes how do you manage your own mind, keep it from spending all that time in the negative spiral?

  1. According to the tlex institute, “The secret is in our Breath. Through breathing techniques validated by modern science, we effortlessly quiet, empty and calm the mind, at the same time increase attention and focus. This state of relaxed-awareness is the Flow state, when we are our most creative, effective and happy.
  2. Say something positive to yourself the moment you wake up. Go all Stuart Smalley on your day. Say, “Today is going to rock.”
  3. You know all those people who #soblessed, #countingblessing, #graitutude? They are onto something. Focusing on even the tiniest of good things helps you deal with the crap things. Say some buttface passes you on the double yellow lines and gives you the finger? You can think, “Hey, at least that buttface won’t rear end me now.”
  4. When things suck, crack jokes. Find the light in the darkness. Find the funny in the horrible.
  5. When you start talking whack at yourself, turn it around. Instead of thinking, “Yeah, I never shut the drawers because I suck,” think “I am just super efficient and left that drawer open because I knew I’d have to go right back there.” Think this even after you slam your hip into the drawer.
  6. Don’t think about the past. Don’t worry too much about the future. Think about you right now. Right this second. Live in the now.
  7. When you fail at something, be chill. Pull out your inner Elmo and think about how you can learn from this and still get hugged. Most things aren’t end of the world.
  8. Surround yourself with people who aren’t assholes. Seriously. If everyone around you is an Eeyore or a cannibal or a backstabber, it’s going to get to you. Positive people help make you more positive. 

Live like an optimist especially if you’re a writer.




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One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.

And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones


Grover and John, Writers’ Inner Cheerleaders and Inner Critics

For those of you who don’t know me, or know that I’m crazy, let me explain about Grover and John.

Sometimes when you are a writer you become paralyzed by fear. 

Come on my dear. Write! Just 1,000 words. You can do it. 

No! No! I couldn’t possibly!

You think you suck. You worry about tiny two-word phrases in reviews that could possibly be negative. You wonder if you are totally unoriginal, if you have anything to say, and even if you do have something to say, why say it?

I CAN’T DO THIS!! is often our writing mantra.

This attitude basically leads to sitting in front of the computer staring, or sometimes throwing yourself on the couch and having a good cry.

To combat this, I’ve enlisted Grover and John Wayne.

Grover is the nice one. He disco celebrates with me. 

Let’s dance, Cawwie!

He occasionally deposits raunchy sexual hints.

Oh, Cawwie. You can do it. Do you want to pet my kitty? 

He makes me feel better and when all else fails we just get totally tanked together and talk about the good times.

I am trying to find a source for this image. If it is yours, please let me know.

Do you remember when your books were on the New York Times bestsellers’ list, Cawwie? That can happen again.

God love you for a liar, Grover.

And then there is John, the Inner Critic.

John is the task masker, the enforcer. He gets out that big gun (Do not say anything sexual, Grover) and gets me to work. 

I mean it kid, I am sick to death of all this whining. 

He tells me not to feel sorry for myself or wimp out. 

Do you really want to deal with this, little woman, huh? You want to have a piece of this? 

Today is a John day. Blah.

Take a look at this, Carrie. It’ll make you feel better. I’m a cookie jar.

Yeah, great John.

But anyway, we all have inner cheerleaders and inner critics, but we tend to pay much more attention to those inner critics, those storylines telling us we suck, we’ll fail, that there’s no point. Those critics? They need to be banished. We need to cultivate and listen to our inner cheerleaders instead.


Because there is enough negative forces out there in this world that we navigate bashing against us. We don’t need to join them. We don’t need to bash ourselves, too. Often the first step to success in our lives and the first to making lasting positive change in this world, is to embrace the good, the positive, to cultivate it, to grow it in ourselves and others. Spread that. Be your own damn cheerleader and cheer on others, too.



Steve Wedel and I wrote a super creepy book a few years back called After Obsession and it’s making a big freaking splash in the amazing Netherlands thanks to Dutch Venture Publishing and its leader Jen Minkman. 

Check out this spread in a Dutch magazine. I met a whole bunch of Dutch readers last Friday and let me tell you? They are the best. 


My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!


It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed! 

You can order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?

In the Woods
In the Woods


You can buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site. 


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Check it out here. 


A lot of you might be new to Patreon and not get how it works. That’s totally cool. New things can be scary, but there’s a cool primer HERE that explains how it works. The short of it is this: You give Patreon your paypal or credit card # and they charge you whatever you level you choose at the end of each month. That money supports me sharing my writing and art and podcasts and weirdness with you. 

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