Starting this blog has pushed my buttons, sent my Inner Critic on a rampage. I have always struggled with this negative inner voice commenting on what I am doing. You know, the usual, “What you are doing is stupid drivel. Why bother? What you have to say is meaningless and unimportant. What’s the point? You are wasting your time. Who cares what you think.” And on and on and blah, blah, blah. This Inner Critic of mine is alive and kicking and beating me bloody. It never fails to stop me in my tracks time and again. Once it stops me cold then it calls me lazy for not following through. Basically I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.
Pushing on in spite of this haranguing is difficult. A couple of years back I worked with a writing coach, Emily Hanlon and she taught me about a concept to counter the Inner Critic and that is the Inner Writer. Emily Hanlon encouraged me to dialogue with my Inner Writer to get guidance on dealing with the Inner Critic. I looked through my journals and found just such a dialogue.
The date is November 3, 2007. The entry in my journal starts with a sort of letter to my Inner Writer.
Dear Inner Writer
Well, I wrote today and I am at least writing my quota of 1,000 words a day. Each time I write I feel like I am not living up to my previous writing. So like Emily suggested I am asking you, what do you think?
Dear Janice, I feel your unrest. I think that as time goes on it will lessen. What is the Inner Critic saying to you?
(This is where I leave off with the letter writing style. I will add tags to help with clarification)
Me: Inner Critic, what are you saying?
I.C: This writing of yours is useless. You’re wasting your time you know. Why bother with it. It’s aimless babbling. What’s your point? I don’t see a point. Once again, I think you’re wasting your time.
Me: Inner Writer, did you hear that? What do you think about that?
I.W: The Inner Critic can’t see the big picture. When someone starts to build a house and the first step is to make a big hole for the basement, should the workers stop building because it doesn’t look like a house. Just keep writing. It will take shape just like the house will.
Me: That’s cool. Thank you Inner Writer.
That is cool. Now looking back I can see that the positive aspect of myself is, well, wise. I would love to say that I followed this advice but sad to say I never finished that project I was working on. I succumbed to the I.C. and abandoned it. For now, I will get back to this concept of the Inner Writer helping me deal with the Inner Critic because it looks like the Inner Critic isn’t going to go away anytime soon.
After doing a search on the Inner Critic I found an interesting article in all of places The Wall Street Journal. There are many ways to help deal with an Inner Critic and no matter what endeavor one chooses I think dealing with your Inner Critic is critical.