Today is my first ever post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which is aimed to air insecurities and to support other neurotic writers.
It’s actually really fitting that today is my first foray into Insecure Writing territory, because something happened to me this morning that actually falls neatly with the purposes of this group.
I was happily going along, minding my business, opening my MS to edit when it hit me.
Right over the noise in my head. Over the clamor between my characters, my muse and my internal editor. My inner critic woke up from her hibernation and spoke.
“What are you doing?”
And all went silent.
Then she really got started.
“What are you doing? Sitting day in and day out, working on perfecting your WiP. You can fix everything you see now and your CPs will still find more things that are wrong. You could spend the rest of your life writing stories that will go unappreciated because they might not even sell.” and on and on and on. Every little statement felt like a whip to my back, drawing blood and draining my courage to face my long line of mistakes.
I sat there, staring blankly at my document, trying to find my balance when one of my Doorways characters, Darrion, spoke up:
“Don’t be an idiot. Of course my story is full of errors. That’s why you’re editing. And of course your CPs will find problems. It’s the reason you have them read your work. Now stop whining and get going. The story isn’t going to edit itself. Now… if you’ll excuse me.”
Then he kindly beat my inner critic up before gagging her, chaining her and hanging her upside-down in a very obscure corner of my mind.
Obviously, his bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired, but he has a valid point. There’s nothing wrong with having something wrong in your writing. At least you found it and can fix it. Same with getting a long list of suggested edits back. It means that there are still ways to improve. We should only panic when our writing sucks and we don’t know how to fix it. And even then, it only takes a bit of elbow grease.
Do you have one character who takes care of your inner critic for you? How do you handle doubts when they appear?