In the copywriting environment (which is the process of producing persuasive texts for marketing and sales actions) there is a lot of talk about emotional writing and storytelling. This, which has a lot to do with creative writing applied to other “non-literary” areas of life, is spreading so much that it seems to return like a boomerang to the field of literary creation, but with certain distortions and simplifications that come from that another sphere.
Positive language in the sphere of copywriting
Some people believe that they must write positively to please the reader, to please themselves, and to win the battle against their negativity.
In this way, I find many people in my courses with a slightly distorted notion about what I call “writing from the heart. ” These people believe that they must write about positive emotions to please the reader, to please themselves, and to win the battle against their conflicts and negativity. And this is a huge mistake that, on a literary or therapeutic level, will lead you to write in a conceptual, flat and false way, disconnecting you from your true experience.
In another article I discussed Memoir Ghostwriting Services from a literary point of view, and in this one I would like to talk about positive language, which is what you are supposed to use predominantly to excite your readers. It is said in marketing environments that you have to communicate fundamentally in a positive way, to provoke good feelings in your readers (which lead them to value and buy your product). The example is often given that if I tell you “Don’t think about a pink elephant,” the first thing that comes to mind is a pink elephant, because your brain doesn’t register the word “no.”, so by expressing yourself in the negative you throw stones at your own roof. Or if I tell you “Don’t miss this offer”, what your brain registers is the verb “lose”, which can lead you to not buy the product.
Positive thinking in the field of psychology
This point of view is also supported by new trends in psychology on positive thinking, which has to do with enhancing—in your internal dialogue—positive thoughts to the detriment of negative ones. From this point of view, it is said that, if your thoughts are mostly positive, you will tend to be optimistic, and your life and your health will improve, while, if your thoughts are mostly negative, pessimism will invade you, and your organism will attract diseases.
The power of negative thinking, according to Dr. Gabor Mate
“Compulsive optimism is one of the ways we repress our anxiety and avoid facing it.” Dr. Gabor Mate.
I am going to quote here Dr. Gabor Mate, who, in his book When the body says NO. The connection between stress and illness has a chapter dedicated to “The power of negative thinking.” Among other things, he says the following:
[…] compulsive optimism is one of the ways to repress our anxiety and avoid facing it. This form of positive thinking is the same coping mechanism of the wounded child, and the adult who remains wounded without being aware of it turns this residual defense of the child into a way of life. […]
In order to heal, it is essential to gather the strength to think negatively. Negative thinking is not a sad and pessimistic look that is presented as “realism.” It constitutes, rather, a willingness to think about what does not work. What is unbalanced? What have I ignored? What is my body saying no to? Without these questions, the tensions responsible for our lack of balance will remain hidden.
There is an even more important issue: not asking questions is, in itself, a source of stress. First, “positive thinking” is based on the unconscious belief that we are not strong enough to face reality. Allowing this fear to dominate us causes a state of apprehension typical of childhood. Whether the apprehension is conscious or not, it is a state of stress. […]
Recurring evidence that people with happier, less problematic thinking patterns may suffer from more illnesses seems to defy common sense. It is widely believed that positive emotions lead to good health. While it is true that genuine joy and satisfaction increase physical well-being, “positive” mental states generated to ignore psychological discomfort decrease resistance to illness.
The transcendence of the positive and negative poles when writing from the heart
Without taking away an iota of reason from those who speak of positive language and thinking in the advertising and psychological field, I have to say that we must be careful with this, because it can place us on a rather superficial level. As for my field, that of conscious Book Marketing Services (in which we start from a spiritual base), when we talk about writing from the heart, we are more integrative—in the line that Gabor Mate comments—and we do not reject absolutely anything that that is present in the experience, not even the word “no” (which, by the way, was the first one my son uttered when he learned to speak, before he learned to say “mom” or “dad”).
In your experience there are two poles: the positive and the negative. If you think that by enhancing the first you will get rid of the second, you are very wrong.
It turns out that in your experience (as you currently live it) there are two poles: the positive and the negative. If you think that by enhancing the first you will get rid of the second, you are very wrong. It’s like stretching only one end of a rubber band: the moment you release that force you exert; the rubber band will be thrown to the other end. The most operational thing, and what literature has been training in for many centuries, is to take advantage of both poles of human experience, making them collide in the form of conflict, resolving them through integration, and thus releasing the duality between positive and negative.
I like it / I don’t like it, I remember / I don’t remember
Exercises that I sometimes propose in my classes come to mind, such as making a list of the things you like and another list of the things you don’t like. Or a list of things you remember and another list of things you don’t remember. Normally it is much more difficult to make the negative list (because it causes unpleasant sensations, from which you try to escape), but much more valuable information also usually comes out of it, because it is usually what is covered or repressed. This exercise also helps you realize that, in literature, contrast and contradiction is a value: everything is valuable information about reality.
When you realize that, through storytelling, you can enjoy and see the beauty in both the good and the bad… that’s when you’re ready to write from the heart.
And when you realize that, through the tools of narrative, you can enjoy and see the beauty in both the good and the bad… that’s when you are ready to write from the heart and to transform ghosts into allies to through the written word. And this will leave your readers much more fascinated and will be much more useful to them than if you talk to them positively all the time.
So I have nothing against “positive language”, but in the area in which we operate in Writing and Meditation it is too small for us, because the objective is not to please (neither ourselves nor the reader) but to get to the bottom of it. of the issue and truly transcend the opposites.