That Whining Voice-Dealing with the Inner Critic

Oh my God, I completely forgot about 2nd Tuesday this time. And missed the submission deadline. Brilliant. I'm still posting this because I wrote it and no point not posting, right?
Okay, on to the topic under discussion- Dealing with the Inner Critic, is that it?
I’m not sure I can say much on this- seeing that I’m myself not exactly an efficient arbitrator between my writing self and the skeptical, pessimistic, unhappy creature who keeps whispering things like “this plot is lousy” and “this is no good” and “why are you even writing?” She is there as I struggle to find an opening sentence to a piece of work; she is there as I get stuck midway and again when I read a first draft for the first time. How many times have I typed a sentence only for that voice to dismiss it as lame and pathetic? And I don’t know of twelve and a half ways to deal with it, all I do know is I must keep writing ignoring that voice till I can reach the end. It isn’t easy, I fail at it more than I would like, yet that’s the only solution I know of. When I finish the first draft, yes, then I do try and listen to it, and if I can’t trust it, I go for a beta. (Patti Larsen is the coolest Cat Woman around, and no, she’s got nothing to do with Gotham City as far as I know.):P
Midway through nanowrimo, my inner critic told me my novel wasn’t going anywhere. I gave it a month- and when I went back to it, I knew the voice was right. But there have been times when I’ve gone back to abandoned pieces and been able to complete them. This is all I’ve got to say- if your inner critic declares a piece of your writing as hopeless, give it time before dismissing it outright. And try and ignore that voice while you’re in the middle of writing something with a definite destination in mind. Finish the story/chapter/essay whatever, and then give an ear to what your inner critic has got to say.
I’m sorry my post wasn’t very useful, but I’m looking forward to picking up some great tips from you guys.
©Ruchira Mandal


  1. I also couldn't offer any constructive advice - really just accept it's there and get on - maybe it's a good thing to have so that we never get complacent - glad you posted it would be a shame to lose 2nd Tuesday

  2. This is SO dear to my heart right now... as much as I know it's just ego, there are times when my creativity is busted and I need to take a break--when the voices stop, I have to as well...

    And BTW I'm a MASSIVE Batman fan and would marry him and give him wonderful little batchildren. Thanks for the reference... ;)

  3. Ooops! Seems I was mistaken about Gotham, then.:P Now don't send the Riddler or someone after me.

  4. I think everyone has an inner critic or maybe sometimes lack of confidence in their own writing. Perhaps it's time to take a break from it, or maybe it's time to ask someone else to read your work and give you feedback. They may see something in it that you have dismissed as being worthless, but think much more of it. You never know!


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