Archive for February, 2016

h1

WRESTLE YOUR INNER CRITIC

February 23, 2016

ScreamWhat’s your fear about writing? Are you afraid you’re not creative enough? Afraid, perhaps, that people will think your story is ‘stupid’? Afraid of constant and repetitive rejection that accompanies your novel submissions?

There’s a lot of fear and anxiety inside a writer’s head. And I’m no different. I have a lot of what some writers call, ‘good starts’. But I don’t seem to finish a long-term project. I’m at least halfway through a decent novel, with plenty of scenes planned out and even a great finish in mind. But when I boot up the word processor I look at my story, change a few words, and say to myself, “eh, I’m just not feeling it today” and shut it down.

Why? When I am past the point of no return on a passable first novel and it’s downhill the rest of the way, why do I put on the brakes? Yup, it’s fear.

I’m afraid of a lot of things, including the three things up top. I’m afraid that I will have wasted time finishing something that will never see another set of eyes. I’m afraid of putting it out there and getting the piles of rejection cards. And, frankly, when I try to open my inner creative side, my inner editor just body slams it to the canvass, brushes his hands and sneers over the top of his pretentious spectacles, just daring me to get up.

Well, I can get up. I’ve done it before and sailed past the blockade. Then I stop and do it all over again. An endless cycle. But what can writers do that will consistently get past that big, mean inner editor and doubt monster? Here are a few thoughts:

Walk

Get out of the house and walk. Or even take a stroll on a treadmill. A bit of exercise gets not only the blood flowing, but the creative juices flowing as well. While on your walk, ponder what comes next in your story. Think about ‘what if’ situations. Without that dreaded blank paper or screen in front of you, it’s a good time to let creativity flow.

Freestyle

Forget your story. Only for a while. Start some freewriting where your inner editor is not allowed to take part. This is also a good point to plug your daily pages as directed by Creative guru, Julia Cameron.

Read

Reading can also help free your creativity and get your inner-editor on board. Pull out your favorite author and get into it. Since I mentioned her above, I would also suggest reading any of Julia Cameron’s books about creativity. Her motherly and calm demeanor really puts a reader into a creative mind frame that is great for spilling output onto paper.

Blog it

That’s right, blog about it like I’m doing now. It’s your chance to arise from the canvass, turn on your inner adversary and pile drive HIM to the canvass. Then lock him in a cobra clutch while I transition to a dragon sleeper and put him out of his (and my) misery. I feel much better now. I’m going to write my book.