I hear her. She is whispering somewhere in my head, sitting perhaps in that little curved ridge that protrudes just behind my ear. I hear her, her words first as the hisses of whisper, then as the wisdom of friendship, then the pounding, hurling urgency of desperation.

Take today off, Andi. You can write tomorrow. You have so much else to do – moving and teaching and volunteering. Just take today. In fact, just take two weeks, until after you move, then you can come back to editing.”

I want to stomp the life out of this fairy Siren in my own head, and I also want to embrace her, hold her close to my heart, treasure her as my most sage advisor.

She is always there, this imp of temptation and “common sense.” But most days, I just move on without her, noting her voice and then proceeding onward as we were taught to do with all bullies – ignore them, and they’ll go away. Of course, they don’t, but their power does diminish some. It’s talking to them at all that makes things worse.

Yet, when I am busy – like I am now – so busy that picturing the day in my mind’s eye can cause my heart to race – her voice becomes not only clearer and louder but dearer, more precious, more sound. I so badly want to heed her advice.

I will not. Today, I will write, not because it is another obligation (although it is – it is my work), not because I have a deadline (because I have none beyond my own desires), but because writing is what I do. It is my food, my hope, my balance, and my joy. There is always time for joy.

Just writing that line makes her pipe down a little.

When does that little voice that tells you stop get the loudest? How do you silence her?