There is a monster in all of our minds and she’s a total bitch. She smells of self-doubt and cynicism. She is the sassy girl who knows you are but what is she. She is never far when we are taking steps to follow our dreams.

I attended a conference call today titled “How do you know when you have a book?” I sit here marinating in my notes from the call (not to mention my slight embarrassment as I asked a question and could not stop talking in nervousness), and am in deep thought.I know I sometimes think too much.

Even before today’s phone debacle, writing my memoir has opened up questions that are not always easy to answer.
What makes your story different?

What is your universal message?


It seems these days that memoirs are the new black. Everyone wants a piece of the literary pie and thinks they deserve the freshest slice. But what if your story has been told before…and told really well? What if nobody is interested?

What if
What if
What if

.
The answers to those questions are simple: because there is only ONE me. Just like there is only ONE YOU. Don’t let your monster take over your dreams. We have come too far.

Here is the part where you tell me: how to you control the monster in your head?

10 comments

  1. My problem isn't the monster in my head because I do not have one.My problem is the monster in someone else's head who only gives opportunities to those who don't deserve them or to people who are manipulative and deceive people.I say you will never know unless you try.My problem with trying isn't so much me. It is more about people thinking that living a lie makes the world a better place to live in.I had someone come into my life who basically messed with my perceptions and thinks that is an ok thing to do.Oh well, my life will go on.Sometimes the best revenge is success. Never giving up is actually the best answer I can give you. I don't really have many self doubts at work.My problem is wanting the world to be fair and watching people get things who do not deserve them.I don't covet anyone either. It isn't that.I just like to see people who deserve an opportunity actually get one.That is all.

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  2. My monster in my head needs to be conquered head on. I see it a cold lake on a hot day. If I look at the lake and slowly build my courage, then I will never jump in. But if I just walk (run) right up to it without even sticking my (thermometer) fat toe in but proceed to immediately jump in then I can enjoy it's coolness. Sometimes you just gotta do it.

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  3. My monster is a very quiet one, yet very insidious. It speaks so softly that sometimes I don't even know it's there, but it colors my every decision. I've learned to fight it by looking within and examining my emotions with a fine-tooth comb, and then I write it all out. Some days that works, and on the days it doesn't, I always have pastries.

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  4. I keep remembering a line from the movie Pushing Tin: "It's a big sky. There's room enough for everyone." (Or something to that effect.) Of course, in Pushing Tin they're talking about air traffic control but I feel like it's also a great analogy for writing.Julia Cameron talks about the idea of a benevolent universe where there's room for all artists and creatives to have success, it just might not be the exact vision of success that they expected. I like to believe that it's true. OK, maybe I'm delusional, but if I let those pesky What Ifs sneak up on me, then I'll never write anything.

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  5. I read something a couple of days ago that hit me. What if you say and think only positive "what if's".What if your book is a best seller? What if everyone loves it? What if I am good enough? It made me think and I am trying to adjust to this way of thinking.

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  6. "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"Since all things are perception, don't think you will fail. You may not get what you think you want but you will be rewarded.

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  7. You are climbing up the tall ladder of life and walking out on the thin diving board, looking down and wondering if you have what it takes to make the plunge into the water below. There are always doubts, but many have done it before you and you will succeed in your quest. Once in the water, you will wonder what all the fuss was about!

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  8. What is it?The most dangerous place I can go by myself is that seven inches between my ears. I have to remind myself that if I don't act on those thoughts, they're only a tape or a movie. It's when we act that we become responsible for our thoughts. When we remember that we control only our attitude and actions and work to make it positive, it works out for the most part.

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  9. What if is a vociferous beast who oftentimes drowns out everything else inside my head. Self doubt is this powerful entity in my writing career. And it doesn't matter how many times I'm bolstered up with praise, I still have trouble believing sometimes. The only way I have to combat it, is with my scrappy little heart. The manuscript is so close to being ready to go and on that day, I will just lift my middle finger to that roaring beast, close my eyes and jump. Hopefully the self doubt doesn't survive the leap. And if it does, I'll just keep taking deep breaths and pretending I can't hear its roar. I'll be thinking of you as you ready yourself for the conference. I want every detail.

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