We are our own worst critic.
Our inner critic loves to keep us in a place of not moving forward. It says things like, "Really, who do you think you are to write a book? What kind of qualifications do you have? Do I need to remind you how much you sucked in English class? You really sucked. And, your creativity! That sucks, too!"
You know exactly what I’m talking about. That voice that tells you that you can’t do it; that gives you every reason of why you shouldn’t be doing it.
The inner critic is all ego. It runs hot and cold. In one moment, it tells you how fabulous you are. In the next moment, it tells you how sucky you are. It likes to keep you in the suck zone. Oh, sure, it’ll give you that boost you are looking for when it feels like it, but, once you have your back turned, it sucker punches you.
How do you shut up the inner critic?
- Be the observer. When the ego starts getting on your back, do not get wrapped up in its issues. The ego is only talking to itself and it wants you to join along. Take a step back. Without judgement, look at what is really going on. Look at the bigger picture. You will find that nothing much is going on and you will continue to write.
- Let the ego have its little meltdown. It only wants to be heard...so, let it spew whatever it needs to. Once it’s done, give it a glass of water and send it to bed.
- Take the inner critic with a grain of salt. Take a look at your work, but do so from a different perspective. Then, give it to someone else to read who can provide you with an unbiased opinion.
- Continue to hone your craft. Reading, writing, learning, and discussions with other writers will help you keep your focus and enhance your skills. It will also keep the inner critic in its place.
- Remind yourself of all the reasons why you love to write. You started this whole writing thing for a reason--what are those reasons? Remind yourself why you started this adventure.
- When all else fails, have a nap...then, start fresh when you wake up!
Keep on writing, dear friends!