When to Call 911 During the Writing Process

I'm not really sure what people mean when they talk about inner voices. Do they mean...like, feelings? Or do they actually hear voices? Is it kind of like the "inner demons" thing? Because, look, if you're really hearing voices and you refer to the "inner demons" that haunt you, there's either way too many horror movies in your life or you need to call an exorcist. And if you're obeying those voices and talking back to them, please dial 911 and tell them what the voices are saying.

When I'm writing, I don't hear anything. I just start typing and...well, I don't know?

I've never had writer's block, or hit a wall, or whatever. When I started writing, I lucked out and got some great advice from someone, somewhere on the internet. It was something like, "Just write and write and write. It doesn't have to make sense or sound good or be grammatically correct. Just get words out. When you go back and read them, then you can makes sense of it all, make the words sound lovely, and if you have time, fix the grammar mistakes."

I read a few more "somewhere out there" internet writing advice articles. I wasn't as lucky with that second round as I had been with the first. The second round of articles had me analyzing every damn thing that showed up on my screen. I was checking and rechecking for xyz, I was stopping more, rereading every sentence, and I felt like writing was stupid because how the hell could I ever get it right? I had panic attacks. I drank Red Bull. Clearly, something was wrong.

Then I read some really shitty books that sold bazillions of copies.

I scratched my head. Not because I was thinking, but because I had an itch.

I realized that writing is like art. One person sees a masterpiece while another person sees blah.

How can one expert think a book is so amazing that it's going to pass oxygen on the list of things humans need to survive, and another expert just makes fun of it?

I decided to go back to the first round of internet advice. For me, I just have to get words out. When I do that, the only voices I hear are the voices of my characters. If I write slowly and carefully, all I do is over think EVERYTHING. And that's when I hear all the voices telling me all the reasons that what I wrote isn't "correct."

Just get the damn words out. There's plenty of time to fix stuff.

In conclusion...

1. Hearing the voices of your characters is good.
2. Over analyzing everything you write to the point of panic attacks and obsessive red bull drinking is bad.
3. Hearing voices, obeying those voices, and talking back to those voices is bad. Call 911.


Aaron, this is the brave way to write -- just write! Thank you!

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