Listening to your Inner Voice

One of the most amazing things about delving fully into a writing project is the amount of words accumulating as the mind drips into the fingertips and onto the page. Another is how it never fails to open a door to the next writing project.

Just as many authors declare the virtues of taking a long walk or participating in a physical challenge for their ability to clear the cobwebs in the brain, I find sweeping out the words collecting in the corners and crevices of my head clears a space for the next story.

While I was immersed in my Nanowrimo project, I found the knocking of another tale to be a bit annoying. It was akin to being tempted by a desert tray while trying to diet. But now that the clock has stopped on November’s challenge, I am rather intrigued.


“Sporadic thoughts will pop into my head and I’ll have to go write something down, and the next thing you know I’ve written a whole song in an hour.” – Eminem

I don’t know what, if anything, I will ever do with the manuscript I wrote for Nanowrimo.  Most likely, nothing.  However, it was extremely beneficial.

About three days into the project I was researching the correct spelling of a very commonly prescribed pain pill in the sixties and seventies.  My father had taken them for pain associated with  an accident he had.

We thought he took a lot of them because of the pain.  We thought he took too many because he had grown immune to their pain killing effects.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered they were taken off of the market in the United States in 2010 – the same year my impulse to follow my writing passions took off.  They had been taken off of the market in Europe many years before.

The reason?

They didn’t do anything at all for pain.  An opiate, they only affected mood.  Highly addictive and associated with high rates of suicide, especially when mixed with alcohol, which was normal to take the edge off the pain.

I can’t even begin to tell you how cathartic this was.  I’m so glad I listened to my inner voice about writing a memoir for my Nanowrimo project.

You all know how much I dreaded it.

I wrote about wrestling with it.  It just refused to be silenced.  I feel opened up in a new and fabulous way.  Perhaps the cleansing was necessary.

When did you last reap the benefits of listening to your inner voice?

Renee Johnson is the author of Acquisition, and The Haunting of William Gray.  She is currently working on a Young Adult novel, while editing a suspense novel which has international flair–an homage to her love of travel and foreign food.  She lives on a farm in North Carolina with her husband, Tony Johnson, and one very spoiled German shepherd named Gretel.