A Writer’s Greatest Enemy

The writer has many obstacles she must overcome in order to write. She must find time. She must find inspiration. She must have energy. She must have the ability to tell others no, that she needs time to write, and she must have a capacity for selfishness. (Because taking time for yourself is apparently a selfish thing to do.)

And, after the writer has written her work, she has new obstacles. She must brave the waves of beta readers and spotty online advice from strangers. She must battle the mind-numbing triathlon of querying agents. She must prepare herself for the sting of rejection, over and over and over again.

And, after all of that, when she is published, she must realize that not everyone will like what she has written. She must not let the lack of bestseller status depress her. She must accept all reviews with a sip of wine and maybe a bite of chocolate. She must accept that some reviews will be overjoyed and full of praise, and some will not be kind.

Yet, after all of this, and even before it begins, of all the obstacles the writer overcomes, the greatest enemy of the writer is the writer.

The writer tells the writer how horrible a project is, how hopeless it is to even try, how pointless the querying is, how steep the odds are, and how she will never make it.

The writer whispers horrible things to the writer, mean, self-loathing, soul-pinching things.

The writer makes the writer feel bitter when she sees other books being published that she considers lesser than her own, overdone, overly dramatic, and silly, when hers could have been the hit title that year.

The writer tells the writer all manner of mean, nasty, and bitter things.

And, the writer must realize that these things aren’t true. The writer must discover her own way of shushing that mean little voice, to silence the critical writer that demands perfection.

And never stop writing.

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