“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” —Allen Ginsberg, WD
Being a writer is such an interesting experiment on the psyche. It is so much more than putting words on a piece of paper to tell a story or share one’s expertise. It really pushes one to face so many of their fears, insecurities, and inner critic and this is why so many people who want to be writers, choose not to write. It can be a brutal tug of war with one’s soul. I was reminded of this tug of war one morning last week.
A bit of the backstory: I am in the process of marketing and promoting my upcoming book, Trust Within: Letting Intuition Lead, which is being released October 17th. I am learning a lot, and most of what I am learning is that the bulk of marketing and promoting is now up to the author. The author contacts the magazines, TV stations, podcasts and blogs in hopes that they will say yes to having them be a guest on their show or write a review of their book.
I have also discovered that this period has very little to do with writing, but still forces me to face my inner critic. The critic that questions, “Am I good enough to be a writer?” Or speaks the language of the imposters syndrome, “When are they all going to find out I am a fake, not a real writer.” These were the voices screaming last week as I sat on the side of my bed sobbing to my husband.
I was struggling; I was really suffering and having a total meltdown. I mean I was sobbing, snot running down my nose, unable to catch a breath, really losing all control of my bodily functions. Through my tears I was saying things like, “I suck, my book is going to suck, I am mediocre writer, and my book is going to be a total flop.” I would find some space between my tears to then say, “Because I suck I must stop all the madness of publishing this book, I must be safe and secure and not have to face my friends and family when my book is at the bottom of the New York Times bestseller list, and I am a complete fucking failure.” I wanted to grab my cracked iPhone and call my publisher and say, “Stop the press. Please can we not publish my book? It is going to fail.” During this incredibly wretched time on my psyche this was all I could see or feel as the truth.
My sweet husband listened, and then gave me some really reassuring words, “Molly it will all be okay, I read the book and loved it (he has to say that he is my husband), and you are so loved, remember that.” After a long, kind hug where all my snot dripped upon his shirt, I wiped my burning, red eyes and listened as my kids awoke and began asking for breakfast. I went on with my morning, which mostly consisted of packing the car to head out on a camping trip with my family.
I awoke the first morning on our camping trip, stretched my sleeping bag cramped body, fumbled and crawled out of my tent to smell the fresh Wallowa Mountains. I brewed up a cup of strong coffee and slowly, silently headed down to the lake to watch my kid’s fish. It was on this meditative walk I began to hear another voice, it was not the inner critic, or the insecure, scared writer, it was something softer, something kinder and something that I knew deep in my soul was the real truth, not the “inner critic” truth.
I heard, “Molly you had to leave. Leave it all, your home, town, the computer, your phone and go to the woods and go and be in nature. You had to do what you are telling everyone else to do in your book, your blog, at your professional speaking engagements at LinkedIn and elsewhere, or in your practice to stop and get quiet and leave all the external comforts to hear your real truth and to listen to your intuition.”
I then heard even louder, “Molly you have to trust. You have to trust that whoever is suppose to read your book, will read your book. Whoever is energetically aligned, and is suppose to learn from Sunny the custodian, Jay the recovering addict, or Trisha who trusts her bodily wisdom, will learn. You have to stop attaching your self worth to whether someone who has a podcast, website, or magazine says yes or no to you, or critics who rate the success of your book. Because when you give away your power and self-worth you will suffer. You allow yourself to believe that others opinions will make you happy or successful, and that is simply not the truth. The truth is, trust love, intuition, guidance, silence, nature, family, and most importantly you. That you know what is best for you, that your voice is the most important and true. Your voice, not a critic’s, reviewer’s, or blogger’s voice.”
At this quiet moment, in the middle of the woods, my intuition guided me to trust and see with crystal clear eyes that I was attaching the outcome of the success or failure of my upcoming book to others. I was giving this book so much power, relying on it to tell me if I am a person who is happy or sad, good or bad, and because of this I was suffering.
I am 6 weeks away from my launch. I will still post and try to get people to talk with me about intuition, whether that be on a podcast, website, or in a coffee shop. I will do all this because I believe wholeheartedly in the message that following and listening to your intuition is so incredibly imperative, especially now in these times of dark politics, floods, and human challenges. I will do it because the message of following ones intuition is deeply embedded in my heart. And I will do it because I know intuition is a gift we have all been given, it is free, for everybody and the deepest well for wisdom to our truth. And I vow to fight the inner critic that wants to attach others words and opinions to my inner worth or outer success. I will fight tooth and nail to ignore the voices that tell me if someone likes my book then I am a good person, writer, or therapist.
I needed to leave my life and go to nature to stop the suffering. I needed to get quiet, to hear my intuition, and I needed to listen to my intuition to trust that what is going to happen with Trust Within is going to happen. I encourage you to do the same. Watch how you put your self worth into someone else’s hands, opinions, or insights. Watch when you attach your self-worth and success to a your career, your children, or your possessions and because of this deep attachment you are suffering. And then get quiet, try to get to nature, and listen. Really listen and I am guessing you will hear what I heard, “Stop the madness and get into your heart. The truth in life is to trust love, intuition, guidance, silence, nature, family, and most importantly your one true voice.” And this is true success.