Talk Back! (To Your Negative Voice)
You know that negative voice that won’t leave you alone—especially when you’re embarking on a new challenge or goal. Who do you think you are? What makes you think you can write?
It’s a familiar voice for authors and aspiring authors, so much so that one of the exercises we explored at the three-day writing retreat was to write a letter to that negative voice (we call it “The Bitch”) and put that voice in its place. Here are some sample letters to help you tame the beast that can often derail our best writing intentions.
We are long time acquaintances and even a loose definition of friends. Frenemies, maybe. The goodwill applies only so far. When I reach a certain level of achievement, your “friendship” turns to hating. There may be many reasons for it–jealousy, resentment, your own lack of self-confidence perhaps. Regardless, I am fortunate because I have true friends and supporters who lift me up when I need them.
As for you, I want to thank you for planting seeds of doubt that showed me my untapped determination. And I wish you peace from whatever darkness is within you; I will use it as a challenge to do better.
Dear Negative Voice,
Come on! Why do you keep showing up? I’ve got to give it to you – you’re persistent and you know the exact weak and vulnerable spots in my armor. Nice job.
But I’m here – again – to declare to you, as I’m surrounded by many other gifted authors exposing your deceptive trickery – you don’t have permission to tear me down! Your power will not sidetrack me from my mission and Divine Calling. I owe you nothing and I refuse to listen to a voice that wants me to play small.
God has gifted me with talents, wisdom and a story that can change lives. Why would I decide to listen to you and give up the vast and incredible kingdom-building opportunity that’s in front of me?
Be gone. Once again – I’ll keep telling you – FLEE! I’m a daughter of the Most High God and I choose to believe His absolute truth about me.
You may think you are right, but you’re wrong. There isn’t one way to do things like you think; and my way is just as valuable as yours. Holding people back doesn’t propel you forward. It only hurts you. Please see that when you’re negative to me, it shows your true colors. I know perfection isn’t my middle name, but perfection is completely unattainable anyway. I write not for vanity but for impact. I write because others have stories, voices a,nd lives that matter too. I write so one day you may realize you are one of those people with an amazing story that should also change lives. Thank you for pushing me. Whenever you show up, I am reminded I choose my path and I can conquer anything. Words may be hurtful, but you have showed me how to use words for good instead. I opt to choose my words to change lives, not hold them back.
Go away because I’ve got this. I know my schedule is crazy, but I’ve got time on my calendar set aside for this. I will get this done and meet my commitments to others. I’m excited about this and know we will do it, so move on.
Here we go again. Book #2. And here you go again sneaking into my head space with your negative voice to derail my efforts and squelch my enthusiasm. You keep insisting that I don’t have the knowledge or expertise it takes to write on the topic I’ve chosen. You say there is no need for this book. The notion that this book could transform lives with its content is so far-fetched in your opinion. I must admit, sometimes you can be persuasive.
Well, guess what? There is an audience who needs my book. There is a message this book conveys that is transformational. So, I’m not stopping.
I suggest you get out of my way for good.
Maybe it isn’t all you, but just the full dynamics of being part of such a talented and opinionated family, but I hear your voices (and my own insecurities) in my head about my writing this book. It makes me feel like I don’t have the right or the talent to write, and that I am simply posturing. The truth is that I am good at connecting with people. Maybe not with all you all (all the time), but many people are drawn to me and appreciate my ability to engage and connect. So, when you all tease me about meeting new people or patronize me about the work I do, I feel unsupported, and doubt myself. I believe that I DO have expertise on this topic – and that I’ve proven to myself and others that I am a knowledgeable, connected networker and writer. I know that we are not constricted by our family of origin stories, so I will not let your voices in my head stop me from writing this book.
Now back off! You were successful for a couple of years but no more. Because this week I am with a
group of people that want me to finish this project, as I do!
The fear of losing my memory is you, and you can leave now because the words are written. I can move
on in life without the fear that the story may be lost because now it never will be. My kids will have it as
well as their kids, so it will live on whether I remember it or not.
Dear Negative Voice
You are in my way.
I am going to write this book because someone needs to hear it.
You don’t own me.
Writing is very important to me, and I am not going to let you take it away.
You can’t stop me.
I am going to write this book
Get out of my way.
May these words empower YOU to talk back!