Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Stop the Voices!

Courtesy of michi2004 (freepik.com)

The voices keep coming. It took them no time at all to grapple with my brain cells, yanking and yanking as they pulled out connections, added confusion, and debilitated my writing...

My daughter has them, too, but only when it comes to math word problems. She just took a test, missing all but one word problem at the end of the exam, though her overall grade was pretty good.

I looked over the test with her yesterday. "I see your brain shut off right here."

"Yup," she agreed. "I hate word problems."


"I just can't do them." She had just repeated what the voices told her, and she and I both knew it. We've been working on what I call "Math Therapy" for a few weeks now, practicing over and over what she is going to say every time those voices crop up and tell her You can't do this.

"What were you supposed to say to them?" I ask her.

"Shut up." This is her talking to the voices, not to me, of course.

"That's right," I tell her, nodding.

But then I face my novel, again. The one I had started to revise before my laptop's hard drive blew up. The one I was really turning into something brilliant. Before the great big bang. Before it was all gone.

And the voices come back as I am revising. You'll never get it back the way it was, they say.

"Shut up. I'll make it even better."

You can't even remember how you moved sections of it around. 

"Shut up!" But I couldn't stop listening. The voice was right. Everything seemed jumbled.

It's not going to work.

The voices continued, creepier and creepier as the minutes passed. I made it to page eight, sweating like a pig by the time I gave up for the night.

But I'm going back, voices and all. If my daughter can face word problems day after day, I can do this too.

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