I posted a few weeks ago about how I’ve hit a bit of a dry patch, writing wise.
Having had time to think about it a bit more, I’ve realised that one of the major problems I’m facing is the fact that there are too many voices inside my head.
This probably leads to a bunch of suggestions, largely revolving around questions about my sanity. So I just want to confirm that no I am not going mad (within reason anyway). And I don’t want to trivialise the experiences of people who really do hear voices in their heads. I’m definitely not there.
I know, I shouldn’t be complaining. After all, I am a writer. Isn’t the whole point of being a writer that we constantly have a multitude of different voices inside our heads? Isn’t that how we come to get to know our characters, and how their stories take shape?
Absolutely. I always love it when a character pops up and starts speaking to me. It’s one of the things I most enjoy as a writer. No, the problem has nothing to do with the voices of my characters. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite.
I think the real problem I’m struggling with at the moment is that there are too many voices in my head that aren’t my characters. Instead, all I seem to be able to hear are the extremely loud voices of real life. And as much as I love to hide away in the fantasy world of my stories, real life is not something I am able to avoid.
I don’t mind the voices from my family members. Family is extremely important to me. I’m less thrilled about the voices from my day job. When they’re the ones that start to fill my head, I know that things are seriously out of balance.
It seems to be happening all the time, but it’s especially bad at night. Night is the time when I really look forward to chatting with my characters. Night is when we often have the best conversations, planting the seeds of ideas inside my head. But with all those other voices filling my head, it’s getting more and more difficult to hear my characters. No matter how hard I strain my “internal ears” their voices get fainter and fainter, disappearing into the general noise.
I feel like I’m at some sort of tipping point. I’m not sure how long I can keep going. I definitely need some sort of safety valve, to release the tension and ease down the volume until I can once again hear the voices I most want to listen to.
Riptides in Reality
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as