Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Beeeeeee Yourself

So as I sat down to write this post, I accidentally clicked "new blog" instead of the little pencil button used for creating posts. Yep. It's been that long. *face palm*

What have I been doing with my life, you ask? Writing. Lots and lots of writing. Between the Day Job and the Writing Cave, I haven't made much any time for blogging. And I figure that's okay, because in the end, I write to publish books, not blogs. Well. I suppose I'm going to publish this post as soon as I finish it but… well you get the point.

I've actually been putting this post off for awhile. I mean, what could I possibly say after so long of an absence? Well, I've been thinking a lot of self-doubt.

We all have it. I bet you even J.K. Rowling had it when she decided to write a novel for adults. Write something that isn't Harry Potter? How? The key is to not let it get the better of us. We have to be brave, look our ugly internal voices in the eyes (or mouths?) and not give up. Because that would be the easy thing to do, wouldn't it? Just give up. You wouldn't have to laugh nervously when someone asks you what you're doing with all your free time since you're too busy to hang out with them. You wouldn't get caught zoning out in the middle of a conversation because someone said something to dislodge your writer's block. And maybe for once, just ONCE you could do all your laundry AND fold it.

(Yes, that's all clean. This happens to other people, right?)

The thing is, we don't write because it's easy. We write because we're writers. It'd be like telling a fish not to swim. But even knowing that, it doesn't mean there's not that little voice in the back of our heads whispering that we're crazy for trying.

Here's the thing I've been struggling with lately: accepting my voice. Don't get me wrong. I like my voice. It's what makes me, me. But you read these great books with sexy, edgy voices who aren't afraid to "tell the truth" and sometimes I'm a little envious. I'd like to be as brave as that. So I start thinking, how can I make my book edgier? Maybe I'll kill my MC's mom, or maybe I'll give her a tattoo, or a nose-ring...

This is why we write in drafts.

I'm not an edgy person. My dark side gets about as dark as dark chocolate. And I have to remind myself that that's OKAY. That's not me. If I tried to be edgy and gritty when my MC and I are not, well for starters, it would sound ridiculous, as you can see. But also, it wouldn't be my truth. And that's what we have to remember. Write what feels right to you. That's not to say don't push yourself or broaden your horizons, but don't try to change your voice just because something's in style. Do that and it will sound absurd. It will sound forced. Besides, don't you want to be able to look at your baby and say with pride, without a shred of doubt, "I WROTE that!" with no one else's words but your own?

As Genie said in the Disney masterpiece, Aladdin, "Beeeeeeee yourself." :-D

Do you struggle with self-doubt? How do YOU silence it?