Writers mention the “voices” in their heads a lot.
And usually the “voices” we refer to are all fun and games. They giggle the perfect joke for our manuscript. They excitedly pitch us a plot twist. They reveal what our characters are really thinking, where their true motivations lie. These are the voices that make me feel all warm and fuzzy; I know I’m among friends.
But sometimes those voices get drowned out by others. And these new voices– the voices of self-doubt– bind up the positive vibes with strong rope, gag them, and stuff them into a corner where I can barely hear their muffled screams.
And their whispers twine themselves around me. They dismiss me. Mock me. Laugh at me.
“You’re a failure.”
“You’re not good enough.”
“You’re a crap writer. Your work will never be published the way you want.”
Usually, I talk a pretty confident game on this blog, but these are the voices that prey on me after a couple of weeks in the query trenches. They make me want to curl up in the fetal position, cry, and give up.
But here is where the confidence creeps back. The gags and ropes loosen on my fun voices and they remind me of a few things.
–It might NOT be my fault. The market changes and agents have to represent projects that they think are right for them. There’s nothing wrong with that.
–If the query IS the problem, that’s fixable. Just like with my manuscript, I can revise it until it’s what it should be.
–Finally: Even if it’s not THIS book, it could still be the NEXT book. So maybe I should start writing something else.
And like so many of my blog entries… I’m writing this because I think I’m going to continue to need this reminder. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.