Dealing with Your Inner Critic

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If you are any type of creative person you probably have a cheerleader on one shoulder and your inner critic on the other.  My muse is my cheerleader, that voice that feeds me sparky ideas and inspiration.  My muse is the positive force in my life.  My inner critic, in contrast, argues with my muse.  She likes to shout words of discouragement and fear in my ear to the point I quiver with self-doubt.  Unfortunately, she’s an annoying fact of my life.

I have come up with strategies to deal with this bitchy pest that tries to drown out the voice of my sweet muse.  One of them was to give her a name and draw a picture of what she looks like….

Helga, my IC, is an ample pickle-shaped-figure with spiny whiskers protruding all over her grotesque, gelatinous body.  She has a high whiney voice resembling the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard.  The only facial expression she has is a grimacing frown of disapproval.

Daphne, my muse is a sprite of a being that emits light from her colorful body.  She dances with joy and speaks to me in cheerful songs of encouragement. Her voice is softer than Helga’s and can be easily drowned out.

I’ve become more adept at isolating those two voices by putting an identity to each.  When Helga gets too annoying I visualize swiping her off my shoulder with a THWACK and then dropkicking her out the door. (So satisfying).

Inner critics tend to love periods of creative inactivity.  The best way to keep the beast off your shoulder is to diligently keep up your work on a daily basis in some form. Even 15 minutes a day of seat time can make a huge difference can add up to a full article in a matter of days, a chapter, a painting. Set a timer and go.

You can read about the creative process and motivation all you want but the only way to have to leave your squawking inner critic behind is to build momentum. The bike won’t go unless you start peddling. The muse loves to feel the wind in her hair.

Best of luck.

MUSE

Come out & play with me

you my best of friends

I am happiest when we hold hands

& dance our secret dance.

Whisper in my ear

& fill my head until it is overflowing

with sparks & flowers

of inspiration.

Let’s bring forth from the cauldron of the ethos

a new incarnation of matter & thought

an offering of our magic

to the altar of the earth.

8 thoughts on “Dealing with Your Inner Critic

  1. I enjoy your drawings of your muse and IC. It’s funny, that at the last session my writers group we drew and wrote about our ‘cheerleader’ and our ICs. My cheerleader is Dear One and she journals with me most days. My IC is Miss Prissy Perfect and she’s an annoying old grey cat. (You can read about her at https://intentionalinterplay.wordpress.com/2019/06/03/ms-priss-on-iambic-pentameter/. She has quite an annoying meow and wants me to follow the rules. 🙂 Great post, Alanna. You made me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How did I miss that post? I just read that article which was great. I think I really came to terms with my Inner Critic/Bully after listened to Daniel Krissa’s book, “Your inner Critic is a Big Jerk.” Actually, I’ve listened numerous times now when I need a refresher. I came up with the idea of naming the beast on my own to best deal with that voice. Apparently it’s a popular and necessary idea!

      Like

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