Does your inner critic say really mean things to you? And has this stopped you from writing because you’re afraid that your inner critic is telling the truth?
Who or what is the inner critic exactly?
It’s that inner negative voice that tells you things like: You can’t, you shouldn’t, why bother, don’t, what are you thinking? You call yourself a writer? It feeds off of our own internal fears and amplifies them. It can go by other names as well – the inner editor, the inner mean girl, gremlins, or even just a pain in the butt.
These fears – fear of success, fear of failure, fear of internet trolls or bad reviews, and the fear of being found out aka imposter syndrome – can all cause that inner voice to be very very loud, feeding off our fears and making us feel like crap. And they can cause us to stop writing – even going so far as to cause writer’s block, because when we don’t feel good about our own writing, why are we going to sit down and do it?
Something I hear writers say a lot is that they don’t feel like they are good enough to write the story idea they have and I’m here to tell you that that is simply NOT TRUE – that’s just the inner critic being very loud and vocal and there are ways to stop being haunted by this voice, and work with them – even becoming friendly with them.
Personifying the inner critic
The act of personifying that inner negative voice puts the inner critic outside of ourselves rather than inside ourselves. It gives you a focal image, which I’m gonna talk about in a minute, so that you can talk to them, find out a little bit more about why they’re there, why they’re talking to you in this manner, what the fear is all about, and how to work with them rather than against them. Because once we put that inner critic out here away from us, not in our own head, then we can deal with them without shame. We basically create a character and then it’s not about our voices, it’s about their voices.
Tools you can use to personify the inner critic
First, grab a notebook or journal and start writing down things the inner critic says to you, how it makes you feel, and what they might look like. Be very, very gentle with yourself during this process and give yourself ample time. Don’t rush this process, really sit with it and let things come up organically as you go about your writing life.
Once you have some stuff written down, look over what they might look like and decide how you want to personify them? I like to choose a Tarot card, but you can also use Oracle cards, Goddess cards, pictures from magazines, or even Pinterest. Choose an image that resonates with you and give them a name. I call mine Dude, so no need to be super serious here with this step.
Now you have someone you can talk to. Create a character worksheet – like you do with your novel’s characters – and then write them a letter asking them why they are here, what they want you to know, and why they talk to you the way they do. Once you have your letter, allow yourself some time to write a letter from their point of view answering you. This is the start of forming a friendship, a relationship, with your inner critic.
Need help with this?
I am co-teaching a live Zoom workshop with my friend and fellow book coach, Sage Adderley, in January all about Creating With Your Inner Critic.
Sage will be teaching you how to process emotions, thoughts, feelings and limiting beliefs using an intentional creativity process called Cosmic Smash Booking. She’ll be taking you on a journey with the relationship you currently have with your inner critic, that voice that tells you that you are no good, why bother, you’ll never be a writer. Cosmic Smash Booking goes beyond journaling to a spiritual release of emotions so you can move through them, work with them, and move past them.
For my portion of the workshop, I’ll be teaching how to use Tarot, Oracle, or other images to personify that inner critic so you can start talking to them, building a healthy relationship with them rather than reacting to them, so you can start writing without the inner critic stopping you from the brilliant words that I know are inside you.
Creating With Your Inner Critic will allow you to trust your own intuition so you can get unstuck and start that book that’s sitting on your heart and in your soul.
Join us on Saturday, January 14, 2023 at 9 AM PST / 12 PM EST for a 3-hour Live Zoom workshop – valued at $597, it’s yours for $147 until December 31st so sign up below!!