Silencing Your Inner Critic
One of the biggest challenges facing a new writer is learning to silence the inner critic. That's the nagging voice inside your head that reminds you when your writing isn't as sparkling as it can — or should — be. While having that self-awareness about your work is important, especially during the editing process, problems can arise when your inner critic threatens to extinguish the creative spark. That's when you need to silence your inner critic … or at least ignore it for a little while.
Three techniques that might help include:
1. Turn off your word processor's automatic spelling and grammar checker while you're writing. Seeing the alerts and notifications of a misspelled word or grammatical error can distract you, especially when you're trying to create.
2. Don't read through your work as you write. Writers have a tendency to write a sentence, then immediately read over it. While this can be useful for the editing stage, it can sound the death knell for creativity.
3. Don't share your unedited rough draft with anyone. Constructive criticism can help you grow as a writer but receiving feedback on an unedited rough draft will only activate your own inner critic. Save the critiques for the editing stage.
Learning to block out the voice of your inner critic while you write isn't easy — your inner critic wants to help make your work better, after all. But mastering the technique of when to ignore the unsolicited advice is probably the best gift you can give yourself as a writer.