Saturday, January 05, 2008

Put 'Em Up!

Have you ever had these thoughts enter your mind? "What if I can't do it anymore? What if I can't write anymore? What if those two novels I finished were all I had in me?"

Welcome to my world.

I've written a few pages on the new novel, yet in the back of my mind is this tormenting little voice. I've tried to ignore it, but I feel it sitting on my shoulders, whispering in my ear.

You can't do it. You had it once. The magic is gone.

I've had these moments before and always gotten past them, but this time, it's a bit different. It's stronger, more powerful than before. Why, I'm not sure. Maybe because it's been so long since I've worked on a new novel. Maybe if I just plow through and keep writing (which I will do anyway), it will go away.

Have you experienced this? Any words of wisdom for how to vanquish this voice?


  1. It's another way to sabotage yourself.

    The only way to destroy the voice -- for this go-round, because it keeps inventing itself, is to keep writing. That means writing every day, even if it's only for fifteen minutes, whether or not you feel like it. Build the writing muscles, build the stamina, so the next time you have to get into the ring with the doubt demons, you come out victorious.

    You can do it. I believe in you.

  2. I believe in you too - and so do you.

    This happens to me every single time, and every single time you have to poke it in the eye and get on with it. Kate calls it the turkeys of doubt (or crows, or other such fowl, but you get the picture). It's like your good angel and your bad angel, only one's saying you can do this, but the other's daring you to. Prove it wrong and poke it in the eye.

  3. Lift your chin, ignore the voice, push past the surging lack of self-confidence... and write. Even if they are bad words, eventually your tenacity will send that negative muse into hiding and your confidence with resurface.
    Happy New Year!

  4. I have the same advice as everyone else...ignore that voice and keep writing. The perception that it's stronger than before doesn't mean anything in regard to your writing ability. As the handwritten note on one of my rejection letters said: "Onward!"

  5. Keep writing. Forget that anyone but you might ever read it. That particular voice in your head does not belong there.

  6. Everyone hears the same thing. We have to make that voice powerless. Mentally kick that little voice in the balls and then drop kick him out of your head.

  7. This is why I love the internet - being able to network with all you wonderful people. :-)

    Thanks for the advice - I'm looking forward to silencing that little bugger when I get home tonight and open up my Word document. :-)

  8. I have faith in you! You've done it before, not once, but twice. You can keep on doing it and doing it better each time. :)

  9. First off, let me say I'm in awe of people who can write well, because I'm not a good writer. I struggle with my little blog posts. But I can see from your writing that you're very talented. I think if you have this gift it doesn't just go away. Just like any artistic talent, you either have it or you don't, and you definitely have it! You're maybe just a little rusty at the moment, but it'll start to come together for you soon. Keep the faith!:)

  10. The voice I get is 'what if you are never able to make a living off this, what then?'. I hate that voice. I smother it pretty quickly. I just remind myself that if I give up I'll never succeed for sure. Not sure if that helps any, but I think every writer has those fears or something similar.

  11. I get the voice all the time, and agree with everyone else. The only way to silence it is to do your best to ignore it and keep on writing. Every single day. Writing is like a muscle and needs exercising. I find that the closer I get to the end of a novel, the louder that voice gets. It's like having one of Kate's turkeys of doubt sitting on your shoulder shouting "rubbish" as you type. Have faith!

  12. Hey, Melissa

    You just need to feel the passion of the writing bug again and it will all fall into place. Read some WWII books/articles and/or some other pieces whose topic you're passionate about. Try doing something else creative besides writing. Sometimes when I feel that nagging, sabotaging voice, I'll set up a dinner date with friends and deliberately show up early, notebook and pencil in hand, and eavesdrop on conversations around me. The tidbits of dialogue you hear can spur you on to anything, maybe something in your WIP, maybe just a little vignette to write about for the night to get your pistons firing again. Just don't give up. You're a talented, very gifted writer and you have much to share with the world.


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