The Voices in My Head Tell Me Things

Some people talk about voices they hear in their heads. Some of those people recognize that those voices aren't really voices, just their negative thoughts that come out of their own consciousness. Some of them actually think they are voices and those people need therapy.

I hear those voices too but I'm 99% sure they are my own. No matter how much I write, there seems to be an constant conversation between myself and the voices in my head that think I am a failure. 

I find myself immediately before each writing session with the internal voices of failure yapping at me with things like: 

"You? Ha! You can't do this." 

"You? Write a book? Pfft no one will read it."

"You don't have anything to say, and whatever you say, no one will care about it."

"Your writing is terrible, no one will want to publish it."

"If books had smells, yours would smell like an old foot."

Sometimes those voices win and I don't write that day. I close my laptop or click over to something else that I can be assured won't test my mental abilities. The voices don't go away at that point, they just quiet to a low grumble, ensuring that I don't dare try that whole writing thing again. Because I let the voices win, I lost yet another day of what could be my life as a writer. 

On the days that I do ignore the voices and start typing anyway, the words trickle out of my fingers and flow like a stream onto the page to form rivers of sentences, reservoirs of chapters, and finally emptying into the ocean of my whatever I am working on at the time. (Right now, it's a book.)

I finish a scene and say to the voices, "You're wrong."

I finish a chapter and tell the voices, "People will care. Someone will love this book."

I finish a character arc and with tears in my eyes I tell them, "My book may smell like a foot, but it's a dainty, well-washed, pedicured foot. People like those."

That is not to say there aren't some parts of my book ocean that are pretty bad. There are a few dead fish floating in an inlet somewhere that I'll eventually clean out. But there are also massive sailing ships and sea monsters. Sharks and cuttlefish also wriggle around in the waters of my novel. Maybe there's even some sunken treasure that is just waiting for readers to find it, pirates who will chase them to literary Havana.

My hope is that I can have more days I write than days that I won't. That this book will find a home in the hearts of readers. That people will fall in love with my characters as much as I have fallen in love with them.