Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I spent the first four or more years as a writer with the voice of doubt standing on my shoulder and shouting in my ear that I couldn’t do it--I was ridiculous to believe that I could write anything worthwhile. Ever. I was wasting my time.

It took a lot of inner conversations to dispel the self-doubt and to start growing the seeds of self-belief. To believe myself when I say, I can do anything that I want to do if I want to do it bad enough to put forth the effort.

Still, with every rejection or setback, that voice of doubt jumps out again and yells at me for trying to be brave—for trying to accomplish my goal.

I am finally getting better at ignoring that nasty voice. He’s a hateful slug. And yet, it doesn't take much for it to show up again.

Some writers who’ve been writing as long as I have may look at me and wonder what’s taking me so long. Many of them my same age or younger, have eight, ten, twenty published books to their credit.

Why do I have so little to show for the amount of effort I’ve put in? I wonder the same thing sometimes.

After going to Time Out for Writers, the 21st annual writers conference hosted by the American Night Writers Association Inc, I have the answer to that question.

It’s that nagging voice in the back of my head telling me that I can’t. After all, it’s hard to get a lot accomplished when I’ve got an invisible someone following me 24/7 telling me to quit. It’s like dragging an extra 100 pounds around.

The keynote address at the conference was given by James A. Owen, author of Drawing out the Dragons. His life has not been easy—he almost died as a child, and his drawing hand was crushed in an auto accident—and yet he’s accomplished so much in his life. It’s because he has always believed that he can, so when he hits a snag of life, he works his way around it or over it.

He says: “If you really want to do something, no one can stop you, but if you really don’t want to do something, no one can help you.”
Here are a few more of his words of inspiration: “Never, ever, sacrifice what you want the most, for what you want the most at that moment.”
“Live deliberately."
"Get joy out of life by doing things you love.”
I'm taking his advice. I'm going to go forward. I'm not looking back. And I'm going to focus on what's good in life.
To learn more about James Artimus Owen, his books and his art, visit his website: http://jamesaowen.com/



Britney Gulbrandsen said...

This is a great post! James Owen is amazing and his keynote (and classes) were so inspirational! What a great conference it was!

Tina Scott, author, artist said...

I agree. He is amazing, and I thought, wow, where would I be today if I'd always had the possitive attitude that he has.