Inner Voices? No Contest

A single white feather closeup
When it comes to battling inner voices, there's no contest. My inner voices win every damn time.

"You'll never finish this book."

"You fail at everything."

"What makes you think you can plot a book? You can't even match underwear."

"You have the worst sense of direction of anyone I know - what unbelievable gall leads you to suppose you can navigate multiple characters across centuries of time travel?"

And that's not even counting the real voices, the things people say to your face:

"That's an ambitious premise. Was your degree in history?" (I never finished my degree... in Media Studies).

So why do I keep writing? Beats me, but I do. I can't stop thinking about the characters, trying to figure them out, expanding their worlds, their adventures, the people they meet. Even though I constantly second guess myself and change the story, hoping to make it better, stronger, more... significant, more meaningful, more worthy of a reader's time. And so I...

Never. Quite. Finish.

Because for as long as it's not finished, the voices might be wrong. Once the book's out there, self-delusion will no longer be possible. In fact, as Veronica's recent post reveals, the voices only get louder after you've published.

So, at the end of the day, I'm just a big fat wuss. A lily-livered, white-faced loon. There. I've admitted it. I shall expect a whole sackful of white feathers by tomorrow's post.

Sorry. I don't have any clever tips for you on this one. I'll have to refer you to Robin, Beth, KC, Aaron, and Jodi.

Or maybe I can offer you this: that if you believe the voices are true, but you write anyway, and even manage to press 'send' at some point—that's really the only chance you have to win this particular battle, isn't it?

Image: By Joao Estevao Andrade de Freitas [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

LIA KEYES is represented by Laura Rennert, of Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

A British expat, she's currently finishing a fantasy adventure for young adults. You can find links to her online haunts on her website.

Lia's other musings


Everyone who keeps writing--despite the voices--deserves a medal, Lia! And the posts this week have proven to me that writers are some of the bravest people I know.

Lia, this so resonates with me... Continue to write bravely! I believe in you!

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