A few years ago, when I first had the idea to write a book, I thought, “Oh yeah! Just what the world needs, another writer. You must be crazy to want to do this. You’ll only be wasting your time.”
As much as a part of me was hesitant and a little terrified of being thought of as “crazy,” my inner voice kept telling me, “But you do have something to say…”
In any creative pursuit, our inner voice is like that voice that speaks to us from our GPS when driving to an unfamiliar destination. In my case, that destination was a manifestation of a story chosen by my inner world. I had a story in my heart that needed to be told, so, through my personal “driving” I listened a lot to my inner voice, which gently whispered both direction and inspiration. Of course, there were also times when it screamed at me, urging me get down and work, to finish, to not give up. Whatever the instance, the more I paid attention to it, the stronger my writing became.
Before long, it grew clear to me that my inner voice was also my writing voice and that it was powerful enough to push me through anything, including doubt. Even though I had the unfailing support of my husband, it seemed that not everyone was as encouraging toward my aspiration, and, as a result, “doubt” became one of these feelings that had a habit of creeping in. Comments, such as, “Wow! That’s scary. What if everybody hates it…,” as well as, “Yeah, but it won’t be like a real book…,” pricked my confidence; however, my inner voice always spoke up, saying the right thing. “You’re not writing for them,” it would tell me, and indeed I was not.
I wasn’t writing to impress or to please. I was writing to create something meaningful, to make a contribution and share something of myself with the world.
Meg Rosoff, Author of How I Live Now, once said, “Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.” My objective and what my inner voice was really trying to tell me was exactly that, “Share from your mind, your heart, your soul.” I got that in the end; and, the further I worked toward it, the deeper I came to understand that it didn’t matter if some people didn’t like what I was doing or what I had to say. What mattered most was that I did my best to express what I had to say and clearly deliver the message my book conveyed so that it could reach the ones who would.
Mary Dunlop is the author of the popular Power of Twin Soul Love and contributor to the self-help book, Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself. She lives with her husband in Quebec, Canada, where she continues to listen to her inner voice through writing the upcoming Betsey’s Retreat–The Power of Twin Soul Love, Book II.