How often does your inner critic win?
Do you delete words or whole pages because it complains about how bad they are?
Maybe you even let it convince you you shouldn’t write at all.
You aren’t alone if you have. Every writer has that voice in their head telling them lies:
This is crap.
What makes you think anyone will want to read this?
Your characters suck, they’re all the same.
Your characters are boring, they have no depth.
You’re wasting your time!
These are the actual things my vocal nemesis said during my last NaNoWriMo. You can read about my battle with it (and my struggle with distractions) in my post The Inner Critic Rises.
In my professional writing for clients, I rarely hear it. But when I’m writing fiction, it creeps out to ferociously attack me at my weakest moments.
It’s surprising and disheartening. But I know I can win the fight and continue to write through the battle. And so can you.
You can fight it
Thankfully, you don’t have to figure it all out yourself. There’s a lot written about the it and other “demons” writers face.
These five articles I’ve found to be useful, for inspiration and for practical advice. Check them out and find the right weapons to use in your personal battle.
How to Out Write Your Inner Critic
This enlightening article provides an interesting perspective on what it is and how to develop a new relationship with it.
Silence Your Inner Critic: How to Defeat Your Writing Demons
That negative voice in your head is just one type of writing demon discussed in this article. It begins by pointing out the most important thing: realizing you give the demons their power. After that, it offers tools you can use to fight them back.
Taming Your Inner Critic: 7 Steps To Silencing The Negativity
Chances are if you have a negative commentary running in your writing, you hear it at other times in your life too. This article focuses on helping you dispel it everywhere it arises, including while writing.
Five Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic
The author shares a lot of inner critic comments in this article. Every writer will recognize them, or some form of them. She follows them up with practical advice you can use to banish yours!
Just keep writing
When all else fails, even the tips and techniques in these articles, there’s only one thing you can do.
Keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing.
Maybe the voice is right, maybe it’s wrong. But you’ll never know unless you keep writing.