This week I’m not thinking about what inspires me, but rather what kills inspiration and how I can defeat those pesky harbingers of doom. I’m thinking about the voices in my head.
I seem to have a multitude of voices distracting me from my life (as I think I a lot of writers do). Do you ever feel like you need to tell them to just leave you alone? Telling is a nice word, usually I want to scream at them. Sometimes they are helpful when it comes to writing, I’ll admit that. There are those voices that turn into characters or are already characters that tell me where the story should go next. Although mostly it seems like those pesky characters tell me that the direction I was planning on going is totally the wrong way. There are voices of those who encourage, telling me they believe in me. Sometimes I have so many voices shouting at me that I don’t listen to what’s going on around me. And doesn’t that make for fun dinner conversations? My husband has to deal with a lot “huh?” from me.
But in and amongst all those helpful voices are the evil ones; the ones telling me I’m not good enough. The ones telling me this story is stupid, it doesn’t make sense, it’s not going anywhere, it’s been done before, it’ll NEVER GET PUBLISHED. In case you can’t tell, I’m suffering with a crisis of confidence right now. I know I’m not unique, I know every writer goes through this. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t flat out suck when you’re in the middle of it.
Those evil voices are the ones I want to learn how to quiet. They may be right. I might not be good enough and my story might not make sense to anyone but me. And, in reality, there is a good chance I will never get anything published. But that shouldn’t matter when I’m writing. If those voices would just leave me alone I might be able to make some progress and move the story forward, instead of being paralyzed by fear and indecision.
Do you have voices whispering in your ear? How do you quiet them when you want them to let you be?
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I have to battle those voices too. It's sometimes good to remember that publishing isn't just about “talent”, it's also about other things, like “timing” (market trends). No offense to S. Meyer but Twilight is NOT that great a book. And it wasn't even a brilliantly original idea to write about sexy vampires. But clearly her timing was spot on and the marketing was terrific. Keep writing the stories only YOU can tell. Remember you're not struggling alone-that's what Thursday's Children is all about. A long, hard road is easier to travel when you've got good company.
Try listening to music. Something that fits the mood that you want to be in when writing your MS! That while quiet those voices down 🙂
And remember that we all have to fight that battle. I'm a lot of people give up and end up with one-third of a novel. Keep going and aim for completion. From there, work to make it better (and comprehensible to those other than you, lol.) Take it step by step, and think of it more of a process.
Glad to have you here, and good luck!
I hear those voices all the damn time. And it does flat out suck. John has a good suggestion about using music to drown them out. And I've discovered that the more words I get out on paper (and sometimes it's a real struggle to get any) the quieter those nasty voices get.
It's like I'm smothering them under an avalanche of letters. They may not be great letters and words, but they muffle the voices and they teach me more about the craft of writing and the stories I'm trying to tell.
And like Rhiann and John said, but it bears repeating, you're not alone. We're here for you.
Thanks to everyone for the encouragement! It helps to know I'm not alone out there.
I'm going to push through and just get this first draft on paper, that is my goal! I think it's time to go searching for some new inspiring music…
This is so true. When you hear those voices, you just need to kickbox them into submission. That's what I try to do anyway…