Does everyone hear voices in their heads, or is it just me?

I’m a Gemini, born under the sign of the twins. I sometimes wonder if that’s why I hear a constant argument going on inside my brain; the twins are once again at odds. Depending on how I’m feeling on any given day, I may be inclined to only listen to one of the voices. Some days it’s the voice of reason, the one that helps me make confident and forward moving choices. Following the direction of the ‘Positive Patti’ voice, I usually feel accomplished and satisfied that I’m making progress. But other days, ‘Bitchy Patti’ has a more dominate presence and all I can hear is her negative banter. And she can be downright mean. Who needs haters and nay-sayers when my worst critic lives inside my head?

And all the voices in my head have pushed and shoved each other off the podium when one of them had something of relevance to say, either positive or negative. I’ve also discovered over the years that if I fail to listen to these voices, I do so at my own peril. They can either stall me or move me into action, but each one of them have something to say. Though I’ve tried to weed through the noise and listen only to the voice that projects me forward, it’s not always easy to keep the cynical banter in the background.

I’ve been following a blog by a social-media guru/writer/stirring-the-pot kind of gal, Kristen Lamb, for years now. Check her out Though she doesn’t know it, the woman has become my mentor in building my author platform and learning what NOT to do in this publishing industry, and it’s an industry that is constantly changing. When I first started this journey of attempting to publish my books, I really had no idea it was going to be this hard. I thought if I had a nice polished MS, the agents would be drooling over it and I would be holding my first published book in my hands in no time. It’s been over five years since I started taking this publishing thing seriously, and I’ve decided that I’m done waiting for that perfect agent to show up. I’ve made a choice to publish these books myself, but as soon as I started that path, I again heard the voice of uncertainty:  Can you really do this? There’s so much you don’t know and it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there! Hmm, there she is again; the voice of doubt and negativity – that bitch! Kick her off the podium!

To be honest, I started writing this story over 20 years ago, it’s just taking me this long to get to the point that I felt it was good enough to move toward publishing, but not without a lot of help. I wouldn’t even be writing this post if it weren’t for my fantastic editors who have given me the confidence to keep going. They have helped me to step out of my comfort zones and challenged me to be a better writer, because I want this story to be more than just simply a book to fill someone’s time. I mean, let’s face it, we all have things to do in our lives that feel like time-sucking duties, and reading a good book should not be one of them.

There are days that I argue with the voices in my head like I’m trying to defend myself in court: Please Judge, don’t throw me in the unpublished prison for writers who will never make it! I’ve been busy with life, a job, and other stuff! But the Judge doesn’t give a damn that I’ve put my priorities out of order. If my goal is to be a published author, I have to commit, I have to make my writing my priority. If I don’t, I might as well set up a cozy little cell in unpublished prison, be forced to read horrible books that somehow managed to get published but probably shouldn’t have, and plan on staying for the rest of my life while I’m forced to acknowledge that I couldn’t do it. Damn, doesn’t that sound like fun! – said nobody ever.

With all the voices trying to push their way up to the microphone, it can be a challenge to only listen to the one that I need to follow: the voice of success that knows the way to the yellow-brick road. This voice has been learning, quietly soaking-up the overload of information that has been thrust into my head over the years. This voice sorts through all this new data and stores it away until at some point it starts to make sense, and then it delivers it to me again so I can act on what I’ve learned.

When I listen to this voice of reason, I feel I’m making strides in this new venture I’ve taken on, though I know I can’t keep the confidence-killers quiet. They will be back.

But the more I learn and the more I act on what I’ve learned, the less I hear them. So I’m going to work on following the voice of accomplishment, beat the drum of forward progress, and hopefully drown out the sound of the nay-sayer. Though I know she’ll never leave me, and she’ll always keep me humble, if I can at least push my negative voice to the background, maybe I’ll never have to see the inside of that unpublished prison cell.

Comments are closed.