How I Got Rid of the Gremlins

Last weekend I participated in the annual Faith and Culture Writers Conference. Friday afternoon, we separated into smaller groups for a writing intensive. I followed in with blogger, Micah Murray’s, entourage.

Micah challenged us to confront our gremlins. (The fact Micah was not even born when the movie Gremlins was released is not lost on me. Bygones.)

Gremlins, using Micah’s definition, are the voices inside our head who taunt and lead us to believe we’re no good. 

You’ll never be a good writer.
You’re boring.
You’ll never be as good as ________.
Your story has been told one thousand times.

We all have gremlins, no matter our profession or hobby, right? 
Please tell me I’m right.

After we jotted down our gremlin jeers, we were, in theory, to combat the negativity with positive statements. This was tough. My list remained blank. I just didn’t have the emotional energy to fight back. Great. I was already failing the second assignment.

I finally found my groove in the last task. Micah asked us to write letters to ourselves. My original plan was to zone and leave this page empty, as well. After sitting still a moment, I began to imagine “Andee” as a friend of mine. What would I tell her if she shared her destructive gremlin thoughts with me? From my soul (and very much un-edited), this is what I wrote:

Dear Andee,

You are real. There is no doubt. You say things like they are. No, not everyone appreciates that. But there is no question on what you believe, what you stand for, what you think your purpose is in this world.

You have 2 daughters and a husband who are so proud of you, who brag to their friends. Yes, your daughters praise you to their friends. What is that all about?!?

This writing hasn’t brought you to where you thought it would. But it did bring you to a place you’d never thought about before. God knew. And looking back, it all fits into place.

Keep writing. You don’t have to have the next great American non-fiction best seller. But you do inspire people. Keep that. That is what you love more than anything else. You be proud of what you’ve done. You be proud of the girls you are raising to become women. You are showing them to take risks…to put themselves out there.  Write for those who do connect. Just keep being real. Never stop being real.


After the radio show yesterday, I received feedback from a listener who was worried my views didn’t align with his. Normally, I would have attempted to smooth over the concern. (Thankfully, the fantastic station manager handled the call.) Instead of worry, however, I was at peace.

I was real. I didn’t offend anyone. I didn’t put anyone down. I was true to myself and my heart. Anyone listening with a careful ear can gather how I feel about certain issues and without a doubt, I will stand true to my convictions.

This time? Those monsters couldn’t touch me. As long as I am true to myself, I notice the truth around me. 

Gremlins have disappeared.

Then again, if being real doesn’t work for your gremlins, this will work for sure:

Don’t bring them into the light.
Don’t get them wet.
And whatever you do, don’t ever, EVER, feed them after midnight.


  1. Jane Halton says

    Yeah! I love hearing people combatting those little punks. I'll just add, ps Andee you have a real way with people. You are easy to talk to, passionate and approachable.

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