At some point in their writing journey, every writer feels like giving up. I certainly have. So has every other writer I’ve spoken to. But there’s a big difference between thinking about giving up and actually giving up. I hope today’s blog will encourage you to be the writer who doesn’t give up, no matter how hard it gets.
My Inner “I’m Not Good Enough, I’ll Never be Published” Voice
Let’s rewind a few years to 2008. I’d submitted my first book, What is Left Over, After to the Australian/Vogel Award. It had been long listed. But not shortlisted. And it certainly hadn’t won.
Then I submitted it to agents. At the time there were about 5 agents who were accepting unsolicited manuscripts. A couple of them asked to see the whole manuscript after reading the sample chapters. And a couple of them wrote me lovely letters, praising aspects of the book, but ultimately telling me they couldn’t take it on.
It was time to move on to publishers. This was before the programs that publishers have now set up to encourage unsolicited manuscripts, such as Pan MacMillan’s Manuscript Monday. Back then, it was just a case of reading the publisher’s guidelines for unsolicited manuscripts, some of which stated they wouldn’t accept them, and sending off your work. Again, a couple of publishers asked to see the full manuscript. They also wrote me lovely letters of praise, which ended in rejection.
At the same time as this was happening, I was writing If I Should Lose You, my second book. Every rejection felt like a message telling me to stop writing, that I wasn’t good enough, that it would never happen. But I wrote on regardless.
And this is the main message I want you to believe today. At some point in the writing process, every writer thinks they aren’t good enough. Every writer thinks their work is unpublishable rubbish that nobody will ever want to read. Occasionally, every writer thinks they should give up.
This can be a make or break point for writers. Many believe their inner voice. They do stop writing. They never finish their book.
The inner voice of gloom never goes away
What I want to say is that the inner voice of gloom will never go away. It will always be there, telling you to stop writing, that your work is laughable. Even after publishing two books and therefore knowing I can write work that is of a publishable standard, I still hear the inner voice of despair.
But you have to get over it. You have to accept that the voice is a part of writing and write on regardless. Think of it instead as your most powerful motivator. It’s the voice you have to beat. It’s what will make you try harder, write better, keep going, make your book perfect. Don’t be the writer who lets that voice stop them from writing.
“Don’t let the inner voice of doom make you stop writing. Make it your most powerful motivator instead.” Click to Tweet
Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Inner Voice Win
Nobody can write your book except you. If you don’t write it, you’re depriving the world of the wonderful story you have to tell. Why should the inner voice of gloom get away with that?
It shouldn’t. So make the voice work for you. Drown it out with words and sentences and chapters and paragraphs. Show it that you are better, stronger, tougher and that you’ll win in the end.
That’s what I do on those days when I hear the voice. And so far it’s worked. I hope it works for you too.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Do you have an inner voice of gloom? What does it say to you? How do you silence it? Have you ever come close to quitting? And does this advice help?