"you can't write a novel"
"you don't know what you're doing"
"you'll never get published, go back to sleep, don't waste your time"
"look at that subplot, it sucks"
Then new voices slip in between;
"come on you can do it"
"just keep your butt in the chair and the pen moving and you'll get it done"
"four pages a day and you'll be done with a first draft in no time"
"who do you think you are calling yourself a writer"
I tell you it never ends. One minute on top of the world and the next in the bottom of the writing dumpster. How does anyone get a novel written, revised, submitted and published with all these voices in my head drowning out character goals, plot arcs, settings and dialogue?
It goes on and on, but my solution is to write as often as I can and write fast. So fast that the voices disappear in the fog of a new chapter, or the introduction of a new antagonist.
I write fast and just let the words flow. I can always toss them out later, rearrange scenes, change a character's voice or hair color. I can revise and hone until the collection of 20-25 chapters actually makes up a real novel. I can get that sucker in the mail before I give up and then get on with the business of writing book number two.
I have plenty of ideas for book number two--then three--then four and so on. And I have an idea for a sequel to the novel I'm writing now. But first--let's get this one done and out into the light of day before those voices get wind of this.