In her book CRAFTING STORIES FOR CHILDREN, Nancy Lamb (who has crafted and published many) calls that voice “The Spoiler.” She suggests talking back to it, and putting it in its place.
It goes something like this--
The Spoiler: “Who do I think you are to be writing something anyone would care to read?”
Writer: “A good and capable writer, that’s who. And who do you think you are to be saying this to me?”
I was reminded of this when I read about a well-known writer who lamented to the legendary children’s books editor, Ursula Nordstrom, that there were no original stories to be told.
Writer: “Every story has been told. There are no new stories.”
Editor Nordstrom: “But the children, dear writer, are new.”
That was one great editor talking back to The Spoiler.
This morning, when I got up to write a new post for this blog, the first voice in my head said I felt empty. I had nothing to say. Then I recognized the Spoiler’s voice.
“I’m going to write about you,” I said back. “And I’m not going to make you look pretty.”
And just like that, she went away.
Next time you hear your Spoiler’s voice, talk back. Get sassy. Then get back to work.