Banishing the critic.

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

Today we’re talking about banishing the critic. I imagine mine in a trench coat with a cigar, dribbling ashes all over my pages. Yours might be even scarier.
But let’s face it: Nobody can beat you up as thoroughly and eloquently as you can yourself.
So what’s a writer to do ?
Let’s start with what not to do.

  • Don’t medicate yourself…it might take away the edge, but you know what? It will also take away…the edge… that special thing that makes your work sing.
    No drugs, no alcohol. I know I sound like somebody’s mother, and oh, yeah, I am! You have to tolerate the anxiety of the blank page.
    But how? You’ll come up with your own techniques through time, but here are some that have worked for me:
  • Music. Songs. Played low through a set of headphones. Other people’s words seem to divert my critic enough so that I can get my words on the page.
  • Give yourself permission to write that truly spectacular bad draft.
  • Set a timer for fifteen minutes. And only write for fifteen. And then stop. Mid-sentence, mid-word, even mid-thought.
  • Remind yourself of what Samuel Beckett said: Fail. Fail again. Fail better!
  • Allow yourself to go down paths. Celebrate the ones that go nowhere, or go places you never intended. Allow yourself to fail, fail again, and fail better.
    Here’s to a great week of exploration!

Vlog Produced by: Pat Allen

« »

Back To Blog