That inner critic

That inner critic is quite the beast. It’ll take a glowing review and whisper doubt into your mind. “Maybe they were just being nice. Maybe they just wanted to give a good review to increase their blog ratings. Maybe…

Like most writers, I too suffer from that inner critic. I’ve doubted my writing and wondered what the heck I was doing trying to complete a book, trying to compete with professionals, trying to compete with those who have editors, agents and a team of other professionals at their side.

One of the solutions for that nasty inner critic is to find intrinsic motivation. Easier said than done.

I read this post by Judy Mollen Walters and found not only a connection but solace.

“…even after you’ve “made it,” even after you’ve reached bestseller status or people clamor to have you speak at their events, you continue to have that pesky fragility. You still wonder: Is this book—my first or third or tenth—is it really, truly good enough? And sometimes you let it slip—like these authors did, the way they did—that you are really insecure, like everyone else.”

That made me feel better because if the ‘Greats’ can self-doubt, then I’m not that far off base.

And I’d like to echo Ms. Walters’ lovely parting message:

“So to all authors I say: Be kind to yourselves. Keep going. Ignore your writer fragile ego as best you can. Find people to validate you. Find happiness in the small moments when the writing seems on target. And believe.”

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Unlocking creativity

I think all writers fear the dreaded Writer’s Block. I find that the more I edit, the harder it is to be creative. When I am editing I have to go back to refresh my inspiration and work at it more than normal.

But how do we get inspired?

Here is a post on 19 habits to help you unlock your inner creative muse by Katherine Brooks. And here is another on 6 steps to being more creative by Leo Babauta. And here’s another one on 6 things you need for that inner muse to go to work by Tanner Christensen. Finally, here’s K.M. Weiland’s great post on Six tips for great ideas in writing.

Go for it! Unleash your inner muse! 🙂

On motivation to write

Should we push ourselves to write? Should we drag our behinds to the chair and sit there until we type something? Or do we wait? I think there are times when it’s okay to wait.

I got this opinion from working out. Years ago, I used to drag myself to the gym whether I was sick or well, whether I wanted to go or not. The result was that I did go…but I hated it. When I did go, my workouts were lame, barely-there attempts without any heart or drive in them.

Then, one day, I stopped going. I told myself I wouldn’t go again until I felt like going. I made a vow to myself and I kept it.

I stayed away from the gym for almost a year. And then, finally, one day, I wanted to go. I went for a little work out and I had fun. I liked it.

I’ve been working out ever since but my relationship with the gym is very different. I may notice when I don’t go that often but I don’t nag myself and I don’t force myself to go. I go when I want to go. The result is, when I’m there, I have delicious workouts. I love it.

I wonder if writing is like that. I certainly write because I love it. But do I wait for inspiration or do I put my behind in the chair?

I particularly like what Justine Musk says: “Reading is the inhale. Writing is the exhale.”

But, just for kicks, here is Kelly Leiter who says something completely different on motivation.

What about you? What do you think?

How to get writing

Writer’s block, drawing a blank, writer’s rut, call it what you like but most writers experience it at least once in their writing careers. Writing isn’t easy. Getting down and doing it is hard. I’m not alone thinking so. Here’s Nathan Bransford’s take on this same topic.

I have to say I have different ways of sitting on the chair and getting busy. Some days are better than others. Some places are definitely more conducive than others.

K.M. Weiland has a great section to inspire you into writing: http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/category/writing-inspiration

Kelley Leiter has some great quotes to get you writing: http://www.thebeginningwriter.com/2012/03/helpful-quotes-to-inspire-and-guide-you.html

Here’s Nathan Bransford’s take on this: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2012/08/why-writing-is-so-hard.html

Finally, Live to write – Write to live has this category to help you find your inner muse. http://nhwn.wordpress.com/category/motivation/

How about you? What motivates you to write?