Hearing Voices

Pen and ink art journal sketch | Lydia Makepeace 

I had a much treasured, old fashioned phone call with my sister recently. We covered a wide range of topics, but one in particular still has me thinking - hearing voices. 

I’m referring to those obnoxious, whiny, negative, soul crushing voices that fill your head and beat your confidence to a pulp. The ones that incessantly nag while you’re at work on something you’re passionate about. The voices that gladly inform you you’re a phony going nowhere and gleefully advise you to quit because you’re not going to accomplish anything anyhow.

How do you keep at it when your mind is being a bully?

This is what I have learned so far: these voices don’t respond to reason. Don’t waste your time with rational arguments. Here’s what you can do. Do the work. Let them go on and on, while you bury yourself in the work. They tend to hush up when you focus on the work. Remember, all you can do is control output. Focus on quantity. Quality comes with dedication to your work.

Do something small. Do it today. Do it tomorrow. Do it every day(ish). Create a mantra for when the voices get really loud. This is mine: I am a painter and painters paint.

I feel insecure about my drawing abilities so I decided to do one itsy bitsy unassuming sketch every day(ish) for 100 days. You can follow my current every day(ish) project on Instagram.

How about you, what do your voices say and how do you work despite them?