Writing against our values is the way I say it. Some people have laughed, but I'm convinced that we do that. Sometimes good writers take on a project because the publisher wants them to do it. I've almost gotten caught up in that. I felt flattered when the senior editor of a publishing house came to me with a writing project. "I know you can do it and do an excellent job."
I loved hearing those words and I agreed. But something didn't feel quite right. For the next two days I struggled over that decision. I finally called the editor, told him how much I wanted to work with him, but I couldn’t do the book. "It goes contrary to my values."
He wisely listened and said, "I understand."
By contrast, one of my friends received a large advance for a book that he couldn’t write. He finally broke the contract and his relationship with the publisher. He told me, "I was writing something I did not feel, did not believe, did not care about, and I avoided writing what I did care about."
When we try to write against our personal value system,
our wise inner critic tries to block us.