Inner Voices, early morning strain

Sorry, I can’t make it out of bed today. You go on without me.

Uh, that would be difficult, seeing as we share the same mind.

Whatever. I can’t face life this morning.

Still moping about the latest rejection, huh?

No. No, it’s just been such a week. Then, you know, I got sick over the weekend. I haven’t quite bounced back. But, why, why didn’t that journal accept my story?

You won’t find out. You’ve got to let it go. Send it somewhere else. You worked hard on it, right?

Yes. It felt so good, to revise, to get feedback. I thought I made progress.

Maybe you did. You’ll never know if you bury it in a file now and quit.

I’ll be a stupider dork if I keep sending my stuff to the world when nobody wants it.

Maybe. Didn’t someone recently tell you they thought that very story was well done?

Yeah, but what if no one else agrees?

You mean, what if it will take more work to write acceptably for more readers?

Work, work, ugh. Pardon me while I hide under the covers. How about we smother ourselves with the pillow?


It’s not the labor I mind so much. The trouble is not knowing how I’m supposed to do it. Isn’t it obvious? I’m uneducated. A dufus. There’s no figuring out how to write well. For me, the problem’s unsolvable.

Okay. You win. Let’s get going and do something different. From now on, you’re not a writer.

What?! How can you suggest I give up my dream?

You just said you can’t solve the main problem.

True. It’s true. I keep trying things, and often it seems I’ve fixed trouble spots. The writing gets smoother. Better in small ways. Overall, though, I’m waiting. Wishing for a breakthrough. A technique; a paradigm shift; a rescue ...

I see. Well, maybe--

That’s it!!

What? You’ve got it? You figured out something?

No; I realized I’m just like Tom Hanks in CastAway.

Right. You watched that on Saturday for--what--the eighty-thousandth time? Tom Hanks’ character, Chuck Noland, gets stranded on a deserted island, then finally gets home, then has another awful setback ...

Yes! And what did he learn from his ordeal, his terrible loneliness and the trials of life?

Don’t talk to volleyballs?

No, silly. Keep breathing. (Or taking steps. Or writing and submitting.) You never know what the next tide will bring.

It’ll likely bring lots more rejections.

Yup. Still, I think I can get up now.

Good. Our stomach’s growling.