I meet two kinds of women who are haunted by the big ideas they feel welling up inside of them but can never seem to articulate on paper.
Kind 1: Want to write but fear they have nothing to say AKA“I sit down to write and literally nothing comes out.” AKA “I really can’t think of any ideas.”
Kind 2: Want to write but have too many ideas AKA “Focus is not my strong suit.” AKA “I think I might have ADHD.”
Might be hard to believe, but I’m a “Kind #1”… kind of gal.
I used to sit down to write and felt frustrated because I had no ideas. That’s what I told myself.
I mean, I was lying. I had ideas, I just didn’t let them move from my brain through my fingers to the page.
I would type a sentence and then think, “This is so dumb and generic.” or
“That’s not right. That sounded more interesting in my head.”
And so on.
It was kind of like the days before smartphones, when you rarely heard a recording of your own voice, and when you did, you’d think to yourself,
“Wait, that’s what I sound like? BLECH.”
I wrote very little for over a decade because of my “I have nothing to write” hang-up.
Now I write a lot. Often, my inner mean girl says to me, “Dang, you really wasted the past 10 years by not developing a writing practice. Think of how much further along you could be now. Embarrassing.”
Recently, a client told me her “inner mean girl” voice says to her, “Why are you writing? You could be spending this time with your daughter. How will you feel in 10 years when she’s grown and you wasted all this time writing?”
The funny thing is, her inner voice and my inner voice? IT’S THE SAME VOICE. Saying opposite things.
So which is it, Inner Mean Girl?
“You’ll hate yourself in 10 years for writing” ? or “You should hate yourself for not writing over the past 10 years” ?
Have you ever stopped to think about why we all have an inner mean girl anyway?
The inner mean girl is not an individual problem. She is not a single voice inside a single head.
She’s a passed-down wound we share. A mechanism of protection that patriarchy has warped.
That’s why, though each inner mean girl says different words, all the words send the same message:
Stay silent. Erase yourself.
As my friend Crystal Frazee wrote recently, “Seeing your own greatness and celebrating it is your source of power. Your culture doesn’t want you to be powerful.”
That inner mean girl is trying to protect us.
We need to start saying NO to her.
So that our big idea can live. And connect – both to our source of power and to other people.
PS: If you blog for your business, or write occasionally, but you feel pulled toward sharing a bigger, more meaningful idea that just never seems to come out quite right, hit reply and tell me about what is stopping you.
I have designed a writing exercise to get you started over this hump. I literally just created it yesterday and would love to know what you think of it. So if you want that for free, just email me at maggie AT maggiefrankhsu DOT com and ask for it.