The Dark Voice Returns

As we rejoin Betsy’s blog, winds are whispering through Betsy’s brain.  These are the winds of fear.  Of doubt.  Of unbelief.  They are the winds of the Dark Voice, awakened from its slumber.  They blow through the corridors, seep under doors, bang through windows, coat everything they touch with black fog.

Although the Dark Voice never really leaves, it often lies dormant, waiting.  Betsy didn’t realize it was awake again, not right away.  Not until the winds blew her off balance and the whispers started hitting her like bird-shot – little pellets that sting and rip.  Little pellets that can shred her fledgling confidence, if she lets it.

Will she?

Now the black cloud of the Dark Voice surrounds Betsy, jeering in the multitude of whispers that make up its essence.  Twisting, turning, contradicting itself, but always, always whispering.

Let’s see what’s going on.


*Betsy wraps her arms around her knees and buries her face, tries not to listen*

Look at you. *the Dark Voice laughs*  You’ll never succeed….you’ve never been able to compete….you’ve always been less-than…

Stop it.

Oh. *it sounds sympathetic now*  I know you’re trying to do the right thing. You’re doing the best you can, which is just sad. Look at where you are. Look at where your books are ranking. Look at what you’ve “accomplished.”  You have, what, three books out? Please. That’s nothing. Pitiful.

At least I’m trying.  *Betsy speaks into her arms*

You’re a failure.

No I’m not.  *But Betsy doesn’t sound very certain*

Sure about that?…yes.  *Betsy tries to think, but the fog is thick*

You’re wondering if you’re fooling yourself.  You’re wondering if you’re making a fool of yourself.  *the Dark Voice sneers*  Going to quit? After writing all of these heartfelt posts about your plans and goals?  *it laughs*  Run away, little girl, run away.

Stop it.

How many people even know you exist? Run away. Run away.


*The winds shift, circle, blow*  Why should I? You know the truth. You talk a good talk, but what are you actually doing? Wasting time.

*Betsy puts her hands over her ears*  Stop, stop, stop.

If you’d kept going after your first book was put out, if you hadn’t flailed around for YEARS maybe you’d have more books now. Screwed that up, didn’t you? 

I’m trying to get myself on a schedule. I’m trying to believe that what I’m doing is valuable.

VALUABLE? Oh, please. Spare me valuable. There are so many other things you could be doing. You could be cleaning the house. Have you looked at it recently? You could be reading other people’s books. You could be working a second job and paying off your debt instead of adding to it.

*Betsy looks up* But then I wouldn’t be writing.

*The Dark Voice blows* So what?

*Betsy straightens*  Writing makes me happy. It makes me feel more like…me.

*Suddenly the winds soften.  Gentle.  Are almost soothing* Okay, so write then. What the heck? Write to your little heart’s content. But why bother to go to the trouble of publishing?  Just write for yourself. That’s what Emily Dickinson did.  That’s what a lot of people do.

*Betsy stands, her back against the wall*  Part of what I love about writing is sharing. I want people to come into my world. I want to share it with them.

*The wind picks up*  No one cares. Your friends put up with you. Other people won’t.

*Betsy takes a step forward* That’s not true.  And I want to share. I want to play. I want to get better at what I’m doing and write better stories and have people love the characters as much as I do.

Doesn’t look like you’re having luck with that so far.

I don’t know.  But even if I’m not, I can’t run away. It’s kind of who I am. I tell stories.

And nobody wants to buy them.

*Betsy clenches her fists*  That’s not true either.  You lie all the time.  I’m just beginning.  And I can’t give up. I have to believe.

Oh, ple—

Believe in myself. *Betsy talks over the wind*  I can’t listen to you telling me I’m a failure because I have to hold on to the belief that this is possible. That I can be a successful independent author.  Maybe it hasn’t happened yet, but it might.  It can. If I believe it, I can achieve it.

*Dark Voice roars with fury*

*Betsy draws in a deep breath and lets it out slowly*  Go away. I’m done listening to you. I’m still figuring things out, but I’m not going to run away.

I’ll be back. You’ll never get rid of me. Never.

I know.

*The wind whips up to a fever pitch, then stills* *Silence descends in Betsy’s brain*

*Betsy sighs*  I know.  You’ll never be gone.  But I guess it’s kind of part of being human.


To be continued…





  1. Welcome to depression, folks. That’s a really good description of it. So much of it is chemical that with correct thyroid and supplements, you can keep that evil wind at bay almost totally. It took me many, many years to learn that you don’t have to live your life doing battle with it every day.

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Athena: Fortunately, this was more a severe case of self-doubt and insecurity than a true depression. But it knocked me off my pins for a while until I could regroup. 🙂

  2. “Writers spend three years rearranging 26 letters of the alphabet. It’s enough to make you lose your mind day by day.” -Richard Price

    Dark voice or no, you got this.

Speak Your Mind


Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.