Name Your Inner Critic

Since my last post, I have been feeling inspired to write. The thing is, there is a big difference between feeling the inspiration and actually getting the words out onto the page. But the fact that I have at least acknowledged my Inner Critic seems to have silenced it a bit. Maybe that’s all it needed – a little respect. I’m thinking of giving it – her? him? – a name. After all, it does help me a lot when it comes to editing what I’ve written. I think it’s definitely a female. It’s quite ruthless, so it must be a woman. I see her as a strong older woman. Think Lockhart from The Good Wife. She sits at her expensive desk somewhere on the sixteenth floor of a New York apartment, and sometimes at her studio in Paris, she looks out of the window into the darkness of the night, the tip of her pen between her teeth, and she thinks about my writing. I can see her make some changes from time to time, and sometimes she smiles as she reads.
A strange thing is happening as I’m making my Inner Critic into a person. I now don’t feel that intimidated by her. Instead, I feel inspired and I want to impress her. I still have not given her a name, so I will think about what names suit her over the next few days.
If you write, try this with me. Give your inner editor a name, a personality, a story. Make them into a mentor of sorts. Like me, you will instantly feel an incredible shift in your perspective. Let me know how it works for you.

On my Inner Critic

It has been a while since I posted something other than a book review. Indeed, it has been a while since I’ve written anything other than a book review. The reasons are many – I’ve been very busy, I’ve had a lot of work, this and that – but the real reason is that my inner Editor has been awaken, and that isn’t always a good thing for a writer.
We live at the age of reviews. We like to read reviews – they give us quick information, they save us time by recommending or not recommending books, restaurants, even energy companies or television sets. They also turn us into constant critics. Even TV programmes are full of criticism – everything is a competition and everything is open to comment. So when the inner Critic has raised its head and is on the lookout for something to review, suddenly even considering writing is slightly scary. And the strangest part is that the fear is not of being critisised by others but of being slagged off by my very own self.
To be able to finish a piece, whether it is a full-length novel or a short story, a writer needs to lock their Critic up in some cage and not let it out until the whole thing is done. A bit difficult when every now and then I need my lovely Critic to come out and help me review a book or a venue. Maybe it needs a new job description. A new contract that says: ‘Inner Critic is contracted to review other people’s books only.’ I’ll try that. In fact, I’ll type that up and print it out right away. Or is that procrastination?