The Voice Within (And How to Shut It Up)

Hello my darlings!

Every so often, I get an idea for a story that gives me all the tingles and then I stop and think, “Nope. Too weird. I can’t write that.”

And then I get mad at myself for days and days because I let that naughty, lie-telling voice have leverage.

Being a writer is hard. Typically, we are a reserved breed. And yet, the basis of what we do is taking the deepest inner workings of our brains and putting them out on display in word form for the world to comment on. That’s some scary shit, you guys.

I’d rather be bare-ass naked in public than stand there with my words written all over me, and I have no shame. That’s not an over-statement. What do I care? Sure, I have boobs. We all do.

But do we all have the same novel ideas in our head? Nope. Not even a little.

The emergence of Dino-erotica proved that point.

But, as this is your literary baby and was grown within the confines of your soul, it’s like going on a job interview completely naked and having the possibility of getting a form letter rejection.

“We’re sorry, but your boobies just didn’t speak to us the way we were hoping.  Thank you for allowing us to consider your junk.”

We take it personally if someone doesn’t like our stories because we’ve essentially laid our souls out all vulnerable and open. For someone to pass on it it’s like, “WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!”

FYI, most people in this crazy biz understand that terror well. It’s part of the job. No one is intending to diss your inner moppet. They are just saying it wasn’t for them.

I’m aware that statement will always suck to hear. It never stops sucking. But just because it doesn’t thrill you doesn’t mean it’s the end-all.

It’s scary to think of an idea that you love and want to make come to life but be so terrified of what people might think of it it stops you in your tracks.

But if you focus on that, you’ll never write what needs to be written.

We write it because in our heads it looks awesome and gives us feelings. Then comes the thought that not everyone is going to get it. And they won’t.

We will get criticism. We will be rejected by agents, editors, readers, leprechauns, etc.

What that means is they didn’t see it the way you do. And that doesn’t mean your story is bad. Crazy and subjective business is crazy and subjective.

If you read it back and it gives you the feelings, then you did your job. They aren’t all going to be the next great bestseller. Sometimes we are the only one who will get it. And writing that book for you is the whole point. Write the story you want to read.

It may sell, it may not, but if you’re not writing for you, it’s never gonna happen. And the more you hone your skills by writing for you, the better the next story will be and so on until you do write the one that’s meant to take you somewhere.

The only real way a book won’t live up to your expectations is if you write it with your expectations in mind. It’s not about the end game. It’s about the story. So tell it. Put All the bullshit aside, and tell the story.

Whatever happens after you write THE END is inconsequential while you’re writing that masterpiece.

We will always run into rejections in this land. Always. We will cry and yell and pout and then file them away into a rejection folder where they will stay as a reminder of what we are learning.

For the love of god don’t go looking inside that folder unless you are looking for motivation to drink a metric fuck-ton of booze.

The important thing is that we don’t let our own brains stop us before we start. Our inner voice shouldn’t be the thing keeping us from telling the story we know we should be telling.

I’ve learned that the more a story scares me when I think about writing it out, the more I know that’s what I should damn well be writing.

Yes, it’s terrifying putting our worlds out there. Instead of focusing on how scary that is, let’s focus on how motherfreaking brave we are for doing that!

I’m fist-bumping you all.

So write. Write well. Write until it scares the absolute crap out of you. The deeper you dig, the more you’ll find to put into it.

And just think. No matter how strange you think your idea might be, remember there is a profitable market for Dino-porn.

I’m not saying write dino-erotica (please don’t.) but that does set the “weird” bar a little lower for us all, right?

Right.

I hope you all are having spectacular weeks!

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Leprechauns

6 Comments

  1. Wait, dino-erotica?? EWWW! :-O

    Brilliant! I really needed to hear this as I am starting the querying process. 🙂 I wrote my story because it was consuming my brain. I had to get it out so I could function properly! LOL! I know that rejection is part of the business but there will still be the wobbly lip when agents pass on my MS. Thank you Fizzy for reminding me that it will make me a better writer, even if I am the only one to love it!

  2. Fist bump in return. So true!

  3. Fist-bumping you back. But dino-porn? Just another reason not to jump on the what’s-hot-now bandwagon.

  4. I needed to read this today. Two pitch contests in a row with no requests. It’s more than a little demoralizing. But I still love this story, and I love the next one I’m going to write too. It’s all good. 🙂

  5. This summed it up for me as to how it feels to get your words rejected. Nice!

    “We’re sorry, but your boobies just didn’t speak to us the way we were hoping. Thank you for allowing us to consider your junk.”

  6. “I’ve learned that the more a story scares me when I think about writing it out, the more I know that’s what I should damn well be writing.”

    Thanks Fizz, you always put it perfectly, and I am right there with you. For some reason it’s really nice to hear other creatives expressing these fears. I am terrified of my favorite projects, so I will keep this close whenever I start to doubt them.

    With love,
    Kari

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.