Turning off the Inner Critic


We’ve all had that feeling. We are going along, the words are flowing and boom, the voices start.

No, not the ones that push your story in a new direction. Those are the fascinating ones.

I mean the ones that say “oops, that didn’t sound right,” or “this is drivel, no one is going to read it,” or, my favorite, “you are never going to be a writer and you may as well give up and go back to bed.” Yep, that’s my favorite when I am writing in the wee hours of the morning.

So, how does one turn off that evil voice? Or, at least keep it at bay while you are getting the words down.

The only way that I have found is to keep writing. Every day. And, write fast. The inner critic can’t keep up when you write fast.

The therapist in me also works at discovering whose voice it is – here’s a hint: it is seldom our own.

Often it is an overly critical parent or other loved one with well meaning, or not, advice. I’ve also confronted the words the critic chooses to use. Most often they are a lie. The problem is when we believe the voice, we get sucked in and stop whatever it is we are doing.

By writing each day and ignoring the voice, I have found that I hear the negativity less and can get the words out. It isn’t a fool proof plan but it’s that is what works for me. There is always going to be someone who doesn’t like the words, however, for every person that doesn’t there are so many more that do like the writing.

The only way we find those who do like the writing is to keep going. Don’t give up.

How do you keep your inner critic at bay?