Tag Archives: Jeanne Guy

The Grip of the Gripe: Shutting the Duck Up

I’m not a griper, at least not an out-loud griper. My griping is done in the privacy of my own little head–it’s all internal chatter. I get hooked into playing a Spiral Mind Game that keeps me in a swirling ain’t-it-awful loop. By the end of the day, it has successfully sucked the life out of me.

I lose my true aim, and feel like I should just give up. Ugh.

I know. Griping about a situation is a waste of time yet, there I was, doing it. I was complaining, grumbling, grousing, and, my favorite, whining.

“But I promised myself I would write daily. I’ll never get the draft of You’ll Never Find Us finished,” I whined in my journal. I thought I had paved the way to easy writing by reducing obligations and saying no to meetings unless they furthered my book and/or my health.

It sounded good at the time. Here’s the reality of it.

It has been a frustrating ride writing this book. Life still gets in the way. When I fell off the proverbial writing-wagon the chatter in my head kicked in almost instantly. It sounded like the quacking of a duck telling me: give up, you’ll never write the book, it’ll always end up on the back burner, you’re not good enough.

I needed help to shut the duck up.

And then the weirdest thing happened.

As I continued to journal, whining about the plight of my book and questioning my worth, who shows up on the page but a”voice” I’d never heard before. It was Big Mama: bold, full-bodied, with a loud mouth and very funny.

You know what she said? She said, “You need to let go of that garbage, girl. Get a grip! Stop listening to that quacker.”

Startled, I asked, “Who are you?”

“I’m your new best self. You already got enough crazy voices in that head of yours. You don’t need another one. You don’t need permission or anybody’s approval to write your book, and you sure don’t need to work your fingers to the bone proving your worth. You’re a worthy girl, you hear me?”

I told her I felt like I had a new spine.

“You’re my baby now and we’re gonna take baby steps when the crazies start getting to you. Got it? If they show up, just ask yourself, is this making me feel better about myself? If not, shut them up and start writing. I’ll check in with you tomorrow.”

“Wait,” I wrote. “What’s your name?”

It was as if I could hear a big, deep belly laugh when she responded, “Honey, just call me Rita.”

I got a grip and plan to keep my aim true…and write that book. Rita and her sense of humor have saved me.

What saves you?

If you hear yourself repeatedly complaining about the same thing, I’ll send Rita your way and have her get in your face, or at least in your head.

Those other voices don’t make you smile. Rita will–if you’ll listen to her.

Jeanne Guy Gatherings
Explore~Reframe~Restory Your Life
Reimagining Your Life Through Reflective Writing

Every Writer Needs a Rita – Talking Yourself Down Off the Ledge

Recently I had an out-of-sorts day and could have easily (I mean easily) headed toward the ledge. Writer’s block. Ugh. But rather than going for the ledge-balancing act, I took a walk to sort out my out-of-sorts condition. One could just go to the hardware store and buy sorts if you find yourself out of sorts, but the only sorts they stock are short term ones.

Sorting works better than ledging.

What exactly is sorting, you ask?

Try a little air, a little movement, and asking yourself questions. Is it real or true? What am I feeling? Where am I feeling it? What is my body saying? Where is my body tight, grumpy, in pain? I stretched my mind as I stretched my legs. I made room for the bad/sad feelings and didn’t focus on forcing them to go away or stuff them.

Stuffing: bad.

Sorting: good.
Through the walking/sorting process, I realized I needed some mothering, some support, and realizing that, I knew what to do. I called on Rita.

Rita is a voice in my head. We all have voices in our heads (quit rolling your eyes). You know what I’m talking about. As goofy as it may sound, I give them names: Priscilla Productivity, Garbage Voice, and Sarah Slacker are probably the most prominent. They are, as you can well imagine, not nice voices, but they can be oh so loud in my head: youre not good at this, youre not doing it right, you should be doing ______ (fill in the blank), youre not good enough.

That voice of “you’re not good at this” sits in a chair next to me when I try to work on my manuscript. Writing my blogs? I can do. Working on my manuscript? The voice of “don’t bother” goes for my jugular every time “we” are at the computer.

But last year a new voice showed up, thank God. It was the one and only Rita. She is my loving protector, takes care of me, nurtures me, watches out for me and always has my back. She’s big, buxom, and bold, and when another voice is giving me a hard time, she gets up in his or her face and politely kicks them to the curb, then helps me down off the ledge.

She has appeared twice now in the flesh, as a SuperShuttle driver last September and last week as a Goodwill employee. I stopped by the Goodwill close to home and dropped off some items. Before I could unpack them out of the back of my car, a woman brought a cart around to the car and helped me with my delivery. We had a great conversation and a good laugh about the items.

She gave me the receipt and then said, “Thank you for making a difference in a life today.” I was so taken aback, I said, “Really?” to which she simply responded, “Yes.”

I asked her if I could hug her, and asked her for her name. Ms. Pat, she informed me as she gave me the best motherly hug I’ve had in quite some time. I told her my name and thanked her for making my day and left.

She was a Rita incarnation if ever I’ve seen one, and a reminder to me to call on Rita whenever I feel the need, but especially when I’m in writer mode. She believes in me. She makes a difference in my life. Who is your Rita? If you don’t have one, it’s time to find one. A little good will goes a long way.

Jeanne Guy Gatherings
Explore~Reframe~Restory Your Life
Reimagining Your Life Through Reflective Writing