There’s something nasty living in my head–something besides my brain, I mean. I know it’s there because I hear it almost every time I sit down to write, its raspy little voice telling me how much I suck. I’ve got some theories on what it is–head gremlins is at the top of the list for now–but I’d need a CAT scan to test them, and I don’t know if my health insurance would be cool with that.
I’ve talked to a lot of writers and found out that I’m not the only one with a case of the head gremlins. In fact, some pretty big names in the industry battle with their own. During an interview I heard with Charlaine Harris she talked about how the fear of failure has never gone away even after all her success. Let me tell you, that blew my mind right off the hinges. I mean, come on! This is a lady who has killed it when it comes to best-sellers. And, hello? Ever heard of True Blood? With all she’s done, Bill Gates has probably got a better chance of bouncing a check than she has of failing as a writer.
The fact is that those head gremlins won’t ever close up shop. No, sir. Those little suckers are going to be whispering sweet nasties in my ear even if HBO buys the TV rights to my steamy vampire series. So then what do I do? Quit writing because I’m scared? No way, duder. Not a fricken option.
But alas! I’ve found a simple fix for the problem. See, whenever those voices start squawking I always ask myself which is scarier: trying to write and then falling on my face or lifelong regret because I never tried? When I think about it like that it’s totally easy. The thought of growing old with a brain full of regret is more terrifying than anything those gremlins have to say.