Tuesday, March 8, 2016

5 Ways To Silence Your Inner Writing Critic

Have you heard the adage, “Everyone is a critic?" It’s true. And, when it comes to writing a book, the biggest critic of all is staring right back at you through the mirror. 

As an author, no one has to come down hard on you because you are already putting yourself into a vicious head lock as it is. “I have writer’s block,” “I don’t know how to develop my characters,” “How do I end this story?” These and other questions can plague writers so much that they can become paralyzed and fail to finish their manuscript.

They say that you can talk to yourself as long as you don’t answer back. If you don’t answer back, however, the potentially negative thoughts will continue unchallenged. And this is not a good thing for authors. Allowing negative self-talk to dominate your mind can stop your creativity from flowing. When this happens, the momentum stops for creating a masterpiece. 

This doesn’t have to happen. There are things you can do to send that cynical noisemaker packing, finish your manuscript and publish your book. Here are 5 ways that will help you to get over yourself:

1. Don’t let the pressure get to you. Be proactive and attack negative thoughts as soon as they start to speak. Get creative and find a way to tackle your manuscript despite your doubts.

2. Box up your negativity. Remember, negativity affects the flow of your creativity. So, whenever negative thoughts come, write them down on a piece of paper. Find a small box. Place the paper in the box and see your issue diminishing in size. 

3. Replace negativity with positive self-talk. Replace a statement like, “I don’t know how to develop my characters” with “I will do as much research as needed to learn how to develop characters for my novel.” If the negative thoughts can keep you down, then surely the positive ones can lift you up.

4. Talk to other writers. Other writers can relate with your problem because they have dealt with the same issue themselves. Whether it’s a one-on-one meeting with a friend who’s a writer or joining a writers’ forum, explain to them why your ability to write is stifled. Accept their advice and challenge the negative thought pattern that is stopping you from moving foward.

5. Get realistic. Is your story really as bad as you think? If so, rework your story or hire a professional writing coach to help you.  Chances are, you are just being too hard on yourself because of the negatives swirling in your mind. Take a realistic look at yourself and put things into perspective.

Whatever it takes, keep the goal in front of you of writing and publishing the best manuscript possible. Don’t let those negative voices in your head overshadow your writing voice, but more importantly, your actual voice. You can do it. So, don’t stop until you’re finished!

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