How To Respond To Your Inner Critic

By on February 7, 2017
How To Respond To Your Inner Critic -

How To Respond To Your Inner Critic -

One of the main problems you may face as a writer is standing up to your inner critic. Being overly self-critical can be very dangerous. It is all too easy to tell yourself to give up, that there is no point, that you will never get anywhere.

But saying things like this to yourself is unhelpful and untrue!

So how do you control your inner critic and learn how to shut it down when it is threatening to ruin your writing career? Here are some examples of what it might say, and exactly how to respond.

'You’ll never be as good as [insert name of your favourite author, or just someone whose work you admire/ are eye-wateringly jealous of)'.

We can’t help but compare ourselves to authors who have been and gone, ones who've had successful and seemingly effortless writing careers, whose fans adore them, who are praised by the media and their peers, who win awards and make millions.

Of course, there are going to be writers out there who are more successful than you, but this shouldn’t stop you from writing. Nor should it give you any reason to think that you can’t be that successful too.

There is no one right way to write, many different authors have become successful for various reasons. Write for your audience and yourself and know that you are unique, your stories are written just the way they should be and comparing yourself to others will get you exactly nowhere.

'Your book will be a flop.'

It’s hard for authors to believe that anyone is going to want to read their book and your inner critic will try to make sure you feel as though it will certainly fail. However, it's important to tell yourself that your book will find its way to the right people. You wrote it with an audience in mind and that that audience will appreciate it.

You’ve got to be realistic; not everyone in the world is going to want to read your book. But there will be people out there who think it is fantastic, and those are the only people that should matter.

You don’t write enough to be a proper writer

Your self-critic will always try to make you feel like a failure and will fill your head with thoughts of giving up.

Don’t let it win.

Writers are always trying to find more time in their lives to write, but putting too much pressure on yourself and beating yourself up all the time isn’t doing anyone any favours. Respond by telling yourself you are doing your best, and that while you are always improving there is no point always trying to squeeze in extra writing time if it is going to make your stressed. -Do as much writing as makes you happy. No more, no less.

You are a dreadful writer

We all have those days where we get halfway through a chapter, read back on it and cringe. Sometimes we just can’t get into the zone, and everything we write sounds terrible, or we simply can’t think of any good ideas.

Writing gets like this for everyone. All writers are bad writers from time to time. The most important thing is to fight through it. Give yourself a pep talk about how important it is to keep striving for your goals, and tell yourself that you can overcome these obstacles. That ought to silence your inner critic (for a while at least!).

Your inner critic has many tricks up its sleeve. They’ll range from petty insults to targeting your biggest fears and insecurities. However, knowing how to respond, to shut it down and feel positive about your writing will only help spur you on to become a better more productive and more exciting writer.

So whatever you do stand up to your inner critic, and never let it stop you from writing!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'


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