Quieting the voices

I’m only 25 but most of the time I’m battling with the nagging feeling that life has passed me by — it translates into panic attacks and depressive episodes and so I constantly have to remind myself that for someone my age I’m doing more than ok. But as soon as I do that my brain tells me I’m deceiving myself and overcompensating so the vicious cycle in my head is like a circus full of crazy ass clowns juggling flaming bowling pins through fiery hoops.


I’ve been obsessing over my book and that obsession has been crippling me from writing a lot. Last month or so, I had dinner with my mentor Muhtar Bakare and he helped me see what I was doing to myself with the book thing. So, he said to write like an architect builds. Have a picture in your mind,  write/draw your plan and flesh it out and make corrections as you go along. Don’t try to have it all perfect at once.

So I did that for days. I sat (more like lay down) and properly mapped it out and now I’m going to just keep writing, instead of constantly going back and obsessing over the imperfection of what I’ve done so far. I’ve been on this thing for 3/4 years, and it may or may not take me another 10 years to finish it but for the first time I feel like it’s going somewhere.

So, what’s the point of this post? I’m not sure but it’s something about quieting the voices in your head and just doing it!

Have a great week.


7 thoughts on “Quieting the voices

  1. For some reason I know this feeling… And I am only eighteen years old. Of course, it is nonsense, it is ridiculous! We still have more than enough time left to reach our goals. I want to publish a book too, someday, so we just need to do it and make the nagging voices quit nagging!

    1. I’m really glad it’s not just me. I’m about to turn 23 and feel as if my life has just hit a dead end. Funnily enough, the only thing keeping me going is the book I’m writing. We will all get there in the end, then there will be nothing for the voices to nag about.

  2. hmmmm… Quieting the voices, i cosign to this. When its like so many people are talking in your head, its a progress killer! half the time am second guessing myself instead of just going for what i want. Amma do better… Inbetween lovely postcard too.

  3. Hi Adebola, could we have you on Black Women Be Like Podcasts, a show where young black African women from around the continent and diaspora connect and equip each other, to talk about Quieting the Voices.
    I recently wrote a piece (See our FB page) on my own experience with similar voices as a Type A personality. Would you be willing to come share thoughts on the show with me and my co-host? Let me know @BlackWomenBLike on twitter so we can DM you details. We’re already following you 🙂

  4. That image of clowns juggling bowling pins is one that will stick in my memory. Thanks for that! I suspect all creative people to some extent struggle with self doubt, and a tendency to strive for perfectionism. Good advice from your mentor though – one that I suspect I also need to take on board in my real (non-writing) life also.

    PS – A post card from Chris Abani? I’m officially jealous!

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