I’m popping out of my self-imposed bubble long enough to share this essay by Anita Gill in BREVITY. So much of this short essay resonated with me and my perpetual struggle with my inner critic, and, of course, it prompted a comment from me. Please read the essay (and my comment below) and let me know: How do you handle your inner critic?
By Anita Gill On a chilly winter day in Oregon, Laura Hendrie, an award-winning fiction writer, gave a craft talk to a room full of graduate students on the topic of crafting the beginning lines of a story. She looked around the room and asked, “What is it about an opening that pulls me in […]
“And this would apply to fiction as well. Even when I’m purposely making things up, my inner critic argues against my authority to do so. The thing about memories–and why the inner critic can often win the battle against writing down memories–is that they are subjective. Your memory of a particular event may differ from every other person who witnessed that event. I’ve often gotten blank looks from family members when I recall an experience that I know we share, but they no longer remember … or choose not to remember. When I write down memories, my inner critic often takes on the voice of my mother or brother or sister, arguing against my version of events and whether I have the “right” to tell it as I remember it. If I go public, I risk being called a liar or of hanging out the family’s dirty laundry. So I write fiction, but my inner critic still knows what I’m up to. This essay is validating and makes it clear that the only way to silence my inner critic is to simply keep writing until my words drown her out.”