(Language warning. Don’t read if you don’t like the word ‘shit.’)

“I happened to mention this to a hypnotist I saw many years ago, and he looked at me very nicely. At first I thought he was feeling around on the floor for the silent alarm button, but then he gave me the following exercise, which I still use to this day. Close your eyes and get quiet for a minute, until the chatter starts up. Then isolate one of the voices and imagine the person speaking as a mouse. Pick it up by the tail and drop it into a mason jar. Then isolate another voice, pick it up by the tail, drop it in the jar. And so on. Drop in any high-maintenance parental units, drop in any contractors, lawyers, colleagues, children, anyone who is whining in your head. Then put the lid on, and watch all these mouse people clawing at the glass, jabbering away, trying to make you feel like shit because you won’t do what they want—won’t give them more money, won’t be more successful, won’t see them more often. Then imagine that there is a volume-control button on the bottle. Turn it all the way up for a minute, and listen to the stream of angry, neglected, guilt-mongering voices. Then turn it all the way down and watch the frantic mice lunge at the glass, trying to get to you. Leave it down, and get back to your shitty first draft.”

Anne LamottBird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

38 thoughts on “

      1. I thought he was cute, at first… then I thought that he was just a small mammalian member of the rodentia family that was commonly used for bio-lab work… and then I thought he was cute, again…

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  1. What do I do if that voice in my head constantly giving me a hard time is mine? I don’t want to be in my own jar… 😉 I love your warning – by the time you read the warning, it is too late lol.

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  2. I am going to put your horrible language in that jar!! Goodness me!

    Anyways, I truly hope you get past all those voices and write some really good sh*t!!! I’ll be waiting to read it 😁

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  3. There’s only so much ‘bologna’ that any one can take. This advice reminds me about the ability to say “NO” and mean it. No I won’t join this or that committee. No, I don’t like that color and you can’t make me be a fashionista. No I will not take on this additional responsibility because I don’t have too. No I don’t have to give to every charity that asks. ….

    Just keep writing when you can. And remember Sanity is over-rated. 😀

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