I couldn't see it but I knew it was there. It burrowed with the dust bunnies, orphaned shoes and lost socks.

At midnight, it would speak and wake me from my dreams. "Do you really believe you can do this? Aren't you too weak to handle it? Don't you know it might kill you if you even try?"

I didn't want to listen but the monster voiced my own fears about my ability to write and get published.

"Your fourth grade teacher was right. You can't succeed at writing. Go get a real job."

I tossed and turned and tried to shut him out. He persisted night after night until I would sit at my desk, pen hovering over the blank page, unable to scrawl even one sentence.

Then one day I took the broom and swept up all that lay beneath the bed. I tossed the unwed socks, the worn shoes and the dust bunnies into the trash. That night I waited to hear that voice, but he was silent.

When I awoke I filled a school girl's spiral notebook with story after story, poem after poem.

I never mourned the death of that monster.


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