I’ve blogged about this before and I’m quite certain I will do so again. It’s one of my biggest challenges. How to beat down my inner critic. The one that says it can’t be done. I’m a terrible writer. I’ll never get published. Why am I doing this to myself?
Quite simply, I love it. I love writing and creating stories. But sometimes, that inner critic – I call her Mildred – rises up and gets in my way. These are my favorite tricks to beat her back down.
1. The Power of Suggestion
I’ll come across a motivational quote or something that a favorite author of mine has said and I will put it on a sticky note and paste it to my computer. There is a power in words. I read it and allow myself to believe in them. Believe in myself.
2. Focus on the Positive
If you enter contests or have a critique partner or have received a non-form rejection letter with comments from an agent or editor, you know that you get good comments with the bad. Focus on those positive comments. Don’t ignore the critiques if they have substance – maybe your POV could use a little work. But don’t knock yourself down over it. That’s what editing is for. If I receive a nice review from a contest judge that resonates with me, I’ll save those comments and bring them out to re-read them.
3. Acknowledge Your Strengths
It’s easy to see our own weaknesses. Sometimes that’s all that we see. If you can’t see your own strengths clearly, ask your critique partners or friends. Sometimes they will come up with things that will surprise you. Acknowledge that strength. If your inner voice says something nasty about your latest action scene, remind yourself that your dialogue rocks and rewrite that action scene until it rocks too.
4. Never Give Up.
This is your dream. All yours. No one can take it away from you. Celebrate that dream. Let it flourish and grow. Never stop dreaming.
What do you do to beat your inner critic?