Your inner critic is that little voice inside you, undermining your confidence and self-esteem. Its goal is to exploit fears and anxiety about whether or not you should be writing at all. “You’ll never be good enough.” “Why would anyone want to read this garbage.” “What made you think you could do this?”
Sometimes you don’t even know the inner critic is at work. Have you ever been busy writing when suddenly you felt physically stiff, anxious, overwhelmed? Think about what you were doing just before for clues that your IC may be lurking about. Your inner critic knows how to push your buttons, bringing up negative feelings and emotions that render you incapable of moving forward with the work at hand.
Know that there are ways to silence or – better yet – make peace with that little voice that causes you to wonder if you will ever write anything of consequence. Here are just a few ways to put your inner critic in her place:
- Tell your inner critic to find something else to do for a while. You are busy writing!
Note: Some folks (me included) give our inner critic a name and talk to her as we would an imaginary friend. I find this helpful since many of our fears and anxieties stem from childhood memories and experiences. I named my IC “Raven.” Depending on how insistent she is on disrupting my writing, I can choose to ignore her, ask her to chill while I finish what I’m doing, or I may banish her from my thoughts completely.
- Take a moment to stretch, regroup, and take a couple of deep breaths. A few sips of something warm and soothing may be just the ticket to finding your mojo again (I always have a hot cup of tea by my side when writing). Indulge briefly in any or all, then get your butt back in the chair and write.
- Consider keeping a few positive statements nearby to remind you that you are creative and capable of achieving your writing goals. Here are a few of my favorite affirmations for writers:
- I am a motivated, driven, and focused writer.
- My creativity flows like a mighty river.
- Every day and in every way, I am becoming a more confident, prolific writer.
Don’t know much about affirmations? Jack Canfield – my ‘go-to’ guy for goal-achievement advice – has a terrific blog post (or two) about the benefits of daily affirmations. I have a feeling once you visit his blog, you’ll see why I think so highly of this amazing author and life coach.
Go to: https://www.jackcanfield.com/blog/how-to-turn-limp-affirmations-into-mantras-for-success/ and be prepared to be amazed!
BTW, here’s a short but worthwhile online test by Hal Stone, Ph.D. & Sidra Stone, Ph.D. Most of the exam is not specific to writers, but chances are – if you score highly on the test – your inner critic is affecting your writing too.