Monday, June 23, 2008

The Writing Critic

We all have that judgmental voice in our heads telling us what to do, where to go, and how to do it.
How fair is that? How can we work under these conditions?

Basically, what we know about this voice is that Critic=Ego. That's right. It's just your ego talking. We all have one. Some of us are ruled by it more than others. The ego, when you get to the bare bones of it, doesn't make us feel good. When ego comes out to play, we are indecisive, wishy-washy and full of doubt.

When we are writing, our ego/critic is analyzing everything that is being put onto paper. "You can't say that." "Oh, that's stupid." "Look how you spelled that word." "I guess your fifth grade English teacher was right."

This isn't fair to your creative muse. The muse wants to get past the critic and come out to play. The muse wants to give you all those great ideas, but can't because the critic blocks the door to the imagination.

So how can you squash the critic? It won't happen over night nor will it happen completely. The critic will still hang around; you just won't hear the voice as loudly. With a little diligence, eventually your muse will come through the loudest of them all. Or, at least, you will be able to tell the critic to step aside and let the muse through.

Here are some things to remember when you are dealing with the critic.
1) When writing, keep writing, no matter what. Regardless of what is going on inside, just keep writing. Don't look up; just keep going till you are done.
2) If you can, resist the temptation to read your work right away. This is a good idea if your critic is especially loud. If you go back too soon, you will scrap everything and become discouraged.
3) Read your stuff when you feel really good. Give it a couple of days to see things with fresh eyes. You'll be amazed at how good your work is when you let it flow.

Last but not least, have fun. If you can't have fun, then why do it?

1 comment:

Ian said...

I've learned this technique through my four (successful) years of NaNoWriMo. I now tend to utilize it all the time when I write, and consequently I find I write much better first drafts and greater volumes of work than before.