Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Wrong Voice

Happy New Year! Okay, I'm a bit late.

I started the new year feeling a little like this seagull. Stranded. Stuck between the shore and the sea. Disconnected. Doubting whether I could ever write a single word of interest to anyone. Who do I think I am? What in the world am I doing? Do I have anything of value worth saying? Why would anyone want to listen?

You get it. Right? I know you do if you're a writer. And if you're a reader, you probably get it, too. All of us are subject to attacks by the wrong voice. The one you tend to listen to when you shouldn't. The one that pounds you, one wave after another, with negative thoughts, discouragement, and flat-out lies.

So here are a few things that have helped me get off the sand bar. Maybe they will be helpful to you, too.

1. Identify the negative message. Write it down.

2. Ask yourself where it comes from. Is it the voice of the world around you trying to force you into a mold you don't fit? Is it a voice from the enemy of your soul who would be happy to destroy you? Is is a voice from a wounded place within yourself?

3. If it's from the world, then you have to decide where and how you want to fit into that world. Then refute the negative voice based on your choice. If it's from the enemy, know that he has been a liar from the beginning, and you don't have to listen. If it's from wounds within your heart, then find someone you can talk to, whether it's a counselor or a valued friend, and begin to walk toward healing.

3. Replace the lie with the truth. Write it down. Scripture calls this "taking every thought captive." Look back over your notes regularly. Listen to the right voice. Believe it.

4. Find community. Connect with people in a writer's group, a reading group, a Bible study, or church group. Find a community of people that are nurturing and encouraging, and be with them regularly.

May blessing and truth be yours as you begin a new day, a new year, a new book.


  1. I am a big believer in affirmations... and yes I know that seagull feeling! Wishing you BEAUTIFUL voices... and yes, would be happy to do an interview! Send on the questions whenever you're ready. Thanks so much for your support. xxoo

  2. You have described my inner state at the end of last year and through to the beginning of this year. Negative thoughts about my ability and whether there is anything worth writing about. I agree with your advice and aim to follow it to a more positive and productive attitude. Thanks!

  3. Irene, Thanks for reading and I will get back with you toward the end of the week with questions for the interview.

    Keith, I'm so glad you were encouraged. We writers are so often isolated, working on whatever it is we're pecking away at. It takes some real effort to interact with the world sometimes! So I'm wishing you positive, true words, too.