Subconscious Programming Can Help You Reach Your Writing Goals

by Suzanne Lieurance

When you have big writing goals you wish to reach, your conscious mind is usually onboard with these goals, no matter what they might be.

Your subconscious mind, however, might need some convincing.

And it's actually your subconscious mind that steers the ship, so to speak.

In her book Thinking Write: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind, Kelly L. Stone says we all have the power to program our subconscious mind to get what we want.

She even says there's a formula for this.

The formula is:

genuine intention + repetition + burning desire = subconscious programming

Let's take a closer look at the first element in this formula—genuine intention.

We all have thousands, if not millions, of thoughts each day.

If we acted on each and every one of these thoughts, we could end up in a real mess.

Fortunately (for us), in order to make something happen we first have to convince ourselves at a subconscious level that we really want it to happen.

So how do we convince ourselves at this level that we really want something to happen—that we have a genuine intention?

Well, by taking baby steps.

By breaking down our larger writing goals into a series of smaller, more easily attainable writing goals.

Here's an example.

If you tell yourself—I want to write a book—that will seem too overwhelming to your subconscious mind, and it will react with a thought like—Yeah, sure you do. You've said that before, and you've NEVER written a book. You can't write a book. It's too difficult.

But, if you tell yourself—I'm going to write just one page every day and see if I can make it into a book—then your subconscious mind says—Okay. Go ahead. You can do that.

Once you start writing a page a day and you continue doing that for a while, you begin to convince your subconscious mind that you can do something even more difficult, so you raise the bar.

You start writing three pages a day, for example.

So, here's how to start programming your subconscious mind, so you eventually reach your writing goals.

Today, just follow these three steps:

Step One

Be sure you've set a genuine intention for the day.

That is, you really do want to accomplish what you say you want to accomplish today.

For example, it really matters to you that you get that next chapter of your novel written or that short story started.

Step Two

Make sure today's writing goal is just a baby step to a larger, more lofty writing goal.

That is, it is something you know you can accomplish.

Don’t tell yourself you’re writing a novel, for example.

Tell yourself you’re writing the first scene of chapter one.

Step Three

Now, get to work on whatever it is you have a genuine intention to accomplish today.

That's it.

Try it!

For more writing tips and resources for writers, visit, and don't forget to get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge!

Suzanne Lieurance is the author of over 40 published books and a writing coach and certified life coach.


Karen Cioffi said...

Suzanne, this is such good advice on how to reach your writing goals. It makes sense that our larger goals need to be broken into smaller attainable goals so not to overwhelm ourselves. Thanks for sharing!

Terry Whalin said...


What an innovative way to help writers reach their goals for their writing. The concepts were new to me and I appreciated learning about them. Thank you.


deborah lyn said...

Really helpful post! Thank you Suzanne.

Lyn C said...

I really need this! At the moment, I'm really struggling with writing every day (or even every week.) You'd think with Covid over past two years I'd be soaring with my writing, but with lockdown after lockdown (I'm in Australia,) my brain has turned to mush. Being in the "most vulnerable" age group (74) and immunocompromised (Lymphoma, asthma) lockdown has been even tougher. I have two plots I'm working on and just can't decide which one to go with. I'm looking forward to lots of nudges 😄

Karen Cioffi said...

Lyn, the COVID isolation has given some writers the motivation to get more writing done. On the flip side, it's stifled some writers' motivation. Being in the 'most vulnerable' age group, adds it's own stress. Hope those nudges help you get moving!

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