I listen to the voices in my head. Problem is, sometimes they’re the wrong voices. I heard the saying long ago – those who speak the loudest know the least – and I’m seeing this ring so true inside my own head.
Inside my head, I have voices whispering beautiful ideas – what to shoot, what to write, who to interview, how to edit a particular photo, what to research, etc – then suddenly the other voices are screaming:
“You don’t have time for that!”
“That’s a stupid idea!”
“They won’t talk to you!”
“Seriously, you want to make that a black and white!”
“You write like a 2nd grader!”
“You’re an untalented hack!”
Yeah, they’re a charming group.
Unfortunately, the screamers have been winning the battle. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been battling the screamers for years; it’s just that some days they scream so loud, nothing gets done, self doubt creeps in and I sulk away in defeat.
The screamers have once again defeated the creative whispers.
But here of late, I’ve decided to strangle the screamers; and believe me, it’s not an easy job. There’s a lot of kicking and screaming and while it’s not physically challenging, it takes a toll on the mental state of mind. And as with all things creative, when the mental state of mind hits a point of exhaustion, no matter how loud the whisperers speak, they just can’t be heard. That’s when it’s time to reevaluate so the whisperers can be heard.
I heighten my awareness. I insist on staying in the moment and watch the screamers (which I envision to be a horrid black ooze – you remember the X-Files, don’t you?) slip away to infect something else.
I pull away from the internet. I know, how could I? But awareness reminds me that the whisperers have more to say than a status update on Google+ or Facebook or LinkedIn. Their message is more important than being on the first page struggle of Google search or configuring SEO or wondering whether my web page needs a tweak here or there.
I stray from the news. The news is a major detractor for the whisperers. While I scour the news for story ideas, I’ve refuse to get wrapped up in the political game, the remembrance game, the let’s see what dreadful story we can share with the world today game.
I read. I read novels and books on self improvement and research materials. I learn more. The more I learn, the louder the whisperers get.
I walk. I make it a point to walk. Though I have my ear buds in and the music is loud, it’s the music that quiets the screamers (I’m not sure if they’re enjoying it and get lost in dancing with the beat or if they can’t fight the sound and they’re huddling for a new attack). But the whisperers love the music and they sing along, slyly changing the words with new ideas to pursue. Smart little things, the whisperers.
Creative whispers are important for artists, for those in the business world, for those just wanting to get through the day. Sometimes you just have to stop and listen for that quiet voice trying to make itself known.