Author: Robin Rivera
Robin trained as a professional historian and worked as a museum curator, an educator and historical consultant. She writes dark young adult fiction, with diverse characters. She's currently querying a novel, and working on two new manuscripts that started off as NaNoWriMo projects. You can follow her on Facebook(https://www.facebook.com/robin.rivera.90813) or on Twitter @robinrwrites. However, Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/RRWrites/) is where her inner magpie is happiest of all.
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18 thoughts on “A Writer’s Ode to Her Inner Critic”
Name her. I have a friend who calls his inner editor Doubt. He pictures him as a raven, pecking away at his writing dreams. Apt, eh? I was toying with Medusa, because in my mind she looks very similar with snakes and all. By naming her, you can put her in her place. But don’t forget to name your muse too, to give them equal footing. Good luck with NaNo!
Thanks, Sue. Naming is always good advice. I’ll work on that one. : ) Love your idea of using Medusa, but which one is your muse? Melpomene? Crime and tragedy do go hand in hand.
Have you read Natalie Goldberg? She talks about a bunch of ways to deal with this–she calls it “monkey mind.” What I did was spend 5 or 10 minutes on a free write about whatever the inner critic is telling you, keep it somewhere or throw it out as needed, and then go back to work. She learned to keep quiet. If she has actually HELPFUL feedback, I make a note in a different color in the text as I write. Good for Nano because of word count, lol. Now you know my secret for 50 k in three weeks.
Thanks, Rose. I have read Goldberg, but a long time ago. I don’t think I’ll have that much trouble doing my 50,000 words. It will be ending up with 50,000 words I like that will stump me.
I hear you!
I’ve read a great tip once for silencing your inner critique! (technically it was for dealing with rejection, but if our past and potential future failures aren’t our critique’s ammo I don’t know what is) Keep a list of all the great feedback you’ve received, the ones which really made you feel like you did good, and re-read over everything when your inner critique speaks up. No, you’re not perfect now and no one ever will be, but someone really liked something you’ve done before. Someone will like what you’re working on now, too. Let your inner critique throw a tantrum if he/she wants, but remember all the nice things people have said already.
Best of luck next month!!
Hi! That is great advice. We all get good feedback, and we need to hold on to that feeling of success. Just sometimes the good comments are not as loud and in charge as the negative ones are. : (
Someday (read: when I’m not a student anymore) I’m going to use NaNo to write a memoir. In the meantime, I’m going to write a lot of blog posts in November with a smaller word count goal.
Great idea. And there a blog post a day November event, you should do that. You have new content almost everyday anyway. It would be perfect for you. : )
Yes, chocolate! Also, when you feel your brain getting back on that evil hamster wheel, take a pause, regroup and go back to it later. I am not a writer, but I am a reader. I enjoy reading things that are different from what my husband likes, what my friends like and what my parents like. That is only my little bubble, nevermind the rest of the world. Perfection in writing is not possible because of the diverse readership. Everybody will like something different, so all you can do is be you, write like you are learn along the way.
Oh, I like the way you think! Chocolate makes everything better. : )
This is the first year of NaNo for me. Ugh! I hadn’t given thought to the ugly demon critic inside until this post. But, I am familiar with her, too. Halfway through the month, she will try to convince me it’s not good enough and to give up. However, as of right now, I have no intentions of doing so. 🙂
Sorry Diane, I didn’t mean to scare you. : ( I’ve been so happy to hear you’re doing NaNo this year. Since you know your inner critic’s tricks you will be fine! Just don’t pay any attention to her. I have total faith in you making it to the finish line. : )
I know that one… But I’ve long learnt to type away and not edit (much) until a few months later. Much easier to deal with the voice that way.
Too true, we all need to pull away from that critic voice until the edit stage. That’s when our inner critics are the most beneficial.
Try chocolate. Always works for me.
More chocolate! I love this group of comments. Thanks, Sharon!