I read a post recently by another writer I much admire and in it she used the phrase, “Inner Supreme Court.”
I recently received an opinion that brought that clever phrase to life. And I’ve realized that the decision to accept or reject it is mine to make. If only it were that simple.
When it comes to any decision — about writing or life — you have to trust your Inner Supreme Court. You can get lots of opinions and recommendations. You can listen to other people’s experiences and warnings. You can indulge possibilities and dreams, but ultimately when it’s time to decide you have to trust that only your Inner Supreme Court knows what is best for you.
I’ve been trying this particular case in my court all week. The case involves a huge re-write of a novel I’ve been polishing for over five years. I’m anxious to bring this story to light. I think it is ready. I think it has an important and timely message, but my agent wants me to gut out yet another re-write.
So, I’ve been gathering opinions, reading genre definitions (since this is the reason for the re-write), and taking long walks with my foster dog who is recovering from a broken jaw (thanks to a misunderstanding with one of my horses).
Sometimes I’m indignant.
My beta readers love this story! I’ve already put more than a thousand hours into it. These characters are my friends. I know them inside and out. What if she’s wrong?
Sometimes I’m self-flagellating.
I suck at this. I cannot write. I should shelve it and take a class and learn to write. I should plant blueberries all over the pasture, kick the horses out, and start a pick-and-pay business.
Sometimes I present evidence.
So-and-so read it, and says this will be the book. The one that makes the NYT bestseller list. I’ve mapped this book, edited it within an inch of its life. I’ve probably cut as many words as I’ve written. I’ve changed names, settings, killed my darlings, and read it out loud. It’s good. It’s really good.
And sometimes I try to see the side of the prosecution.
Maybe she has a point. Maybe there’s more story buried here underneath the overly polished surface. Maybe I just need to dig deeper. Maybe I need to set my ego and impatience aside.
For now, the justices are still hearing testimony. No decision has been made. And the court just might recess for the fourth of July holiday and spend some much needed downtime with the latest batch of foster puppies driving me to distraction.
But soon enough, it will be time to make that decision. I’ll stop asking for advice and sympathy and more time.
As a writer it’s much too easy to see all the sides. But deep down, when I finally close the door of my courtroom, I do trust that my own Inner Supreme Court has been listening and taking all the testimony into account, and while they might not be in complete agreement, they will make the right decision.
And I’ve gotta trust that.
And maybe trust is the hardest part. As usual.
Thanks for reading!
If you’d like to know more about my writing and books, check out CaraWrites.com
If you’d like to know more about life with foster puppies, visit my blog Another Good Dog.
Have a wonderful holiday and trust your Inner Supreme Court!
p.s. Great thanks to Kathryn Craft for the phrase that inspired this post. (Check out her wonderful books!)