Voices In My Head

Sometimes when I write I hear voices that tell me I can’t.

They say:

‘Other writers are better than you.’

‘They’ve already had stuff published.’

‘They’ve got degrees/are journalists and know what they’re doing.’

These voices head hop from writer to writer, and not just unpublished writers, they jump from unpublished, to published, to mega popular writers. I know this because I’ve read them say it. So, I know it’s nothing to do with me, it’s just doubts that creep into every writer’s mind.


There’s a few solutions to this dilemma:

1. Drink yourself into oblivion (probably not best if you want to be coherent).

2. Stop writing. If you’re like me, this will never happen.

3. Seek reinforcement about your abilities from others (but this may backfire, if they tell you they think your work is shite)

4. Keep writing, regardless of the voices, regardless of the likes, or follows, on social media, regardless of the fact that you’ve never had anything published, and you have no qualifications in writing, and people you’ve known since you were young have a list of published work a page long.

5. Work towards improving your knowledge and experience. There are lots of writing courses, in person and online, depending on where you live.

6. Put yourself out there. Bite the bullet, and submit, submit, submit! From what I’ve read, we shouldn’t count on waiting for one story to be accepted by someone. Write heaps, every day, and when they’re ready, send your progeny out into the world. Some will make it, and others won’t, and some may end up in rehab, but that’s ok. It’s all growth.

Why do you write?

The real question here is, why do you write?

If you write to be famous, 🤣🤣🤣. You might become famous, but it can’t be your driving force, because it’s unsustainable, and as Stephen King said:

‘Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.’

If you’re like most writers, you write because it’s in you, it’s part of you, it just happens. Not always beautifully, but it is just a part of our makeup.

I am terrible at maths. When I say terrible, I mean opposite to rain man terrible. And, I’m ok with that. It’s just not in me. Mum’s the same. Until recently, she also wrote. It’s in our genes. I’m also terrible at sport, and art. My sister, who just suddenly does things really, really well, calls me Judystick, and I call her Cherylangelo, because I can only draw stick figures, and she’s in the middle of painting the last supper. And I’m ok with that.

The one thing that moves my whole being is when I write. And I know I don’t yet have the finesse or knowledge I need, but I’m working on that. And I’m ok with that.

Separating what we have to do and what we love to do.

As writers we’re told we need to have a social media presence, even before we’ve got anything published.

But, if you’re like me, you would much prefer to be writing than spending hours on your social media. It is the opposite of a writer’s life – being in that space where we create and acquiesce into a dopamine-drenched bliss.

Social media is like standing in a crowded room naked, and it can be anxiety inducing. And voices in our heads like anxiety. So, I find ways of doing what I have to do, without making it my number one priority. And when I do tend to my social media, I’m going to listen to those who have already done it, and learn from them. Observe and see what works, not what we think looks pretty (have I learnt it yet? No. That’s why I’m listening to others.)

My whole aim is to write. There’s no point in developing an audience if I’m not writing. So, my first priority each day, as far as my writing goes, is to go to that space and put social media out of my mind. Social media has it’s place after I’ve written.

You aren’t their only squeeze

So, if you write because it’s your passion, that maybe started in fifth grade when you did a writing assignment for school and thought, “whoah! What just happened?” And a little piece of earth under your school desk moved, and for the first time, you realised you were good at something (I don’t mean good in anybody else’s idea of good, but better than you were at maths, or sport, or art). Then, just keep writing, and remember those voices do a lot of head hopping. You’re not their only squeeze.


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