This morning Nelson and I were walking on the beach as we do every morning at six - today a gorgeous, sunny morning - and we passed a woman who said "No dogs on the beach!" This woman is a regular on the bike path and always says this when she passes Nelson and me. This morning she got me thinking about negative voices. I've managed to get rid of all such voices in my personal life and refuse to allow any new ones in, (except for this crank on the beach I can't seem to get away from). Writers are especially vulnerable to people with negative messages. This is different from hard, honest feedback on our work; these are the voices that look at all glasses as half empty. The very act of writing is cause for negative messages from such people. And should you have an idea for a book and make the mistake of discussing it with them, they can dash all your excitement and hope for the project by just rolling their eyes.
Sometimes the negative voices are in our heads - imaginary or from our past. Replace those voices with a sweetheart voice - the one that tells you to just do the work, and remember that someone needs to read your story.
And in Santa Monica, California no one, except for one cranky woman, cares if you walk your dog on the beach bike path.