Guest Post by Betsy Schow
I recently, lost 75 pounds of fat and about 1000 pounds of self loathing and feelings of failure. I ventured off the couch and accidentally ran a marathon, climbed a mountain, and wrote a book. Now I'm trying to take on the biggest challenge of all, using online media. You can be my Facebook friend- Author Betsy Schow. Or follow my twitter feed that I haven't figured out yet- @betsyschow http://betsyschow.blogspot.com/ http://finishedbeingfat.blogspot.com/ http://mormonmommywriters.blogspot.com
Premeditated Murder: Killing the voice of doubt
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Except for the time I wanted to a princess. Or an astronaut. Or a princess astronaut in a pretty pink and purple space suit with a tutu. While that would have been awesome, mostly I longed to be a storyteller.
I had big plans. I was going to write the best book that nobody ever read, and there was only one thing stopping me. No, it wasn’t the kids or the fact that I actually needed to go to work to pay the rent. The obstacle in my path was me. Or more precisely the little voice in the back of my head that scoffed at the idea that I could ever be a writer.
The past fifteen years or so repeated a vicious cycle. Brilliant ideas would pop into my brain, and before I knew it there were 15000 words on the page. I would read it over the first time and little visions of best-seller lists danced in my head. I would re-read it a second time and start picking out my rotten grammar. By the third and fourth read through, the process had devolved into one big bag of horse pucky. That little voice in the back of my head would snark, scream, and snort.
Why would anyone pay good money to read anything you wrote? What’s the point, you could never actually finish a book anyway. You are a waste of time, space, and good vocabulary. Give up, if no one ever reads it, they can’t tell you it sucks.
I would avoid the keyboard until I found the courage to try again, but the little voice remained. Finally, I decided this could not continue. Swiping a page from Hamlet, it was time for a murder most foul. I needed to kill off the voice of doubt.
Putting ink to paper, I crafted the most elaborate and devious murder scene ever to see the light of day. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say it involved acid, acupuncture needles, and a goose (geese are vile and foul feathered creatures). I think I scared the bejeezus out of that little voice because it stopped bugging me after that. Now it knew that I meant business.
Maybe the voice in your head is the kind that yells “Get the heck out of my way”, in which case you are probably a best selling author already and good for you. But if you too have a little demon that keeps you from your goals, it’s time to make it sleep with the fishes. Plan it out. You’re a writer for goodness sake, be creative. Knives, explosives, paper cutting it death… the sky’s the limit. Show that voice that you can write and that you are the boss.
Four months after my premeditated crime, the cops still haven’t caught up with me. A publisher did though, and my first book will be on the shelves in January 2013: Finished Being Fat: An accidental adventure in losing weight and learning to finish. The second book, a fiction cozy, is scheduled to be released in April 2013. Amazing the things we can accomplish when we get out of our own way.
Sometimes, I can still hear a faint echo saying, You suck, give up. Concentrating, I’ll picture the red eyed goose with fangs and the voice disappears again.