Monday, May 5, 2014

Getting Past the Inner Critic

We all know the inner critic. It is the reason I write 15 blog posts before I decide to post one. It is the reason I spend years instead of months on novel revisions.

It isn’t good enough. Nobody would want to read this. It could be embarrassing.

The common advice for novelists in a first draft is to shove the critic aside and keep going. Writing a novel is a huge undertaking. Allowing the inner critic to voice its objections in early chapters may be an insurmountable roadblock and your work becomes a half finished novel. The words need to get on the page before you can really work with them. You need to fully flesh out the idea, and then tweak it.

If you are in revisions, it gets a bit trickier. I find it easiest if I work on one thing at a time during revisions….making the scenery pop, working on dialogue, fixing plot problems….one thing at a time. A notebook can be handy, to write notes on future revisions when the inner critic pops up to point something out.

Having a critique group is vital. Outside voices and eyes on the project can be far more informative than normal writer insecurities.  

The inner critic is not only for novelists. I see those shy Facebook posters and nonTweeters. Your friends and followers want to hear from you, too. Otherwise, they wouldn’t follow and friend you. Don’t be afraid to speak up, show a bit of yourself, cast aside the inner critic and embrace your voice. 


  1. Great post, Jill! Like your 15 blog posts, I often rewrite and edit simple emails way too much before sending them. Even this comment...

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