Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Become a Warrior for Your Creativity

Take the Bite Our of Your Inner Critic. Become a Warrior for Your Writing and Creatiivity.The fragility of a work-in-progress.
A work in progress is susceptible to immediate extermination from the most unlikely sources: A spouse, parent, child or close friend can often be the worst people with whom to share your work in progress.

An experience from my life where the warrior in me triumphed!
Let me give you an example from my own experience.
I was working on my novel Petersburg, which was a great joy in my life. I wrote the novel in eighteen months and was hopelessly, madly in love with my characters. Incidentally, Petersburg went on to be a great success. I received a large advance; it was published in hardback as well as softback, reached the best sellers list in England and was translated into German, Italian and Greek. The first draft was twelve hundred pages, and when I was about three quarters done, I proudly announced to my parents that I had just finished writing eight hundred pages. My father was delighted and he congratulated me. My mother laughingly said, “Who would want to read eight hundred pages you wrote?”

I laughed with her. After all, I was used to Mom’s brittle humor.
Then I blocked for three months. I couldn’t write a word. Fortunately, I was in therapy at the time, and in desperation, I said to my therapist, “There is this one thing . . . something my mother said—but you know my mother. It was only a joke.” I shrugged, feeling suddenly stupid. Mom’s remark was meaningless, wasn’t it? It was just Mom being Mom.

“What did she say?”

Putting my Inner Critic in check...
I told her about the episode, and as I did, my self-deprecating laughter turned into tears. I had been crushed by my mother’s careless remark. But this time I decided to do something about Mom, and in so doing, I put my Inner Critic in check, too. I stood up for myself as a writer and I told my mother nicely but firmly, “If you ever want to read anything I write again, then I only want to hear that you love it and I am the best writer you ever read. I don’t care what you really think. I only want you to love my writing. Period. End of story.”

To her credit, she listened and now tells me she rehearses what she is going to say to me about anything I give her to read! It’s always complimentary. And I’m thrilled...

Are you a warrior for your writing and creativity?
If you're not, no one else will be....

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  1. Emily,

    I've experienced this issue several times. However, each time I become deflated with criticism I learn something about my writing. Most of the time the criticism is a result of a poor plot structure.

    I am a Stephen King fan and when I started writing I tried to follow his advice and just worry about "getting it down on paper" and then worry about plot later. I still find it hard to believe that he doesn't do plot outlines for his work, but his success speaks for itself.

    I have yet to finish a novel length work, but I am currently working on a new idea that I believe will go the distance. I have definitely been more plot conscious this time and I think it's paying off.


Your writing and sharing supports all of us!