Thursday, 7 January 2016

Can't, Won't, Shan't

We've all been there. That dreaded voice in our heads that belittles our thoughts of positivity with our writing yattering on in the background, until we give in and stop writing. So what stopped you writing in 2015? What was your background voice saying to you that made you give up? Or were you able to ignore it?

My little voice tells me that I can't write. It tells me that I shouldn't even bother. I'm told there are thousands of other, better qualified, more talented, younger writers out there so I'm just wasting my time. Then my little voice has the audacity to suggest that I just give up and get a proper job, that no-one will want to read what I write let alone pay me for it! Who do I think I am?

This year I managed to silence it just long enough so that I could get three books published and several short stories as well as continue to write a regular column. My little voice is most definitely not happy and continues to sulk in the back of my mind, just waiting for the next rejection to come through so it can yell, "I told you so!" at the top of its lungs.

We all have doubts and get nervous at the thought of pitching an idea for an article, subbing a short story or novel. That's normal. But what's not normal is if we let the heebie jeebies paralyse us into inaction. If we let our insecurities and anxiety prevent us from getting our work out there then we might never know what we have the potential to achieve.

So, next time your little voice pipes up, listen to what it's saying but then blast it with what you do know you are capable of, and that's putting pen to paper. Keep scribbling no matter how loud your little voice says so that you can silence it with your success. But beware. Your little voice is as stubborn and determined as you are. It will always be there in the background. Your job, if you want to be a professional and successful writer is to keep its volume down so you can keep writing.

Happy writing in 2016

Julie x


  1. There's always a better writer out there - but that better writer can't write everything that needs to be written. Writers of all levels are needed in this business - so it doesn't matter where any of us are on the 'ladder' of talent - you can make a living, you be a professional and successful writer, and you can just laugh off that inner critic! And anyway, the more you write, the better you get, and therefore the closer you get to that dastardly better writer out there! :)

  2. I agree with Alex G, you've got to keep going.
    And when the monster of doubt looms, give it a swift kick and battle on!

  3. I think it can be difficult for newer writers to appreciate that, Alex. It can all seem too intimidating and daunting, especially when the rejections keep rolling in. But I think the key fact to remember that even the most seasoned writers get their work rejected. It's all part of the process. As you say, the best way to become a successful writer is to keep writing!

  4. I agree, Maria - got to keep going!