Monday, July 5, 2010

Censor Revealed!

I have found my inner critic!  Now I can squash it!

Okay, that was a bit of violent (for me, at least).  Let me explain.

I read "Squelch Your Inner Censor" by Jacquelyn b. Fletcher last summer in the Writer's Digest Creativity Guide.  One of the methods Fletcher suggests is to find a physical manifestation for your inner critic, something you can laugh at, abuse, or physcialy put away to  help shut off that annoying little voice telling you, "you can't do this."

I casually collect urban vinyl figures and recently picked up this rather grotesque little creature in a blind assortment box.

Creepy, right?  I wasn't sure what to do with her at first, but have come to realize that she is the perfect manifestation for my inner critic.  I've even given her a name I despise yet find fitting for such a serious and hard working creature: Ernestine.

With her face on, Ernestine looks kind and helpful, right? Wrong!  This is nothing but a cover up for her nasty ways.  Look at that little pursed mouth, those falsely pink cheeks and her cute little hat.  They're nothing but a sugary sweet cover up for one nit picky, spineless little creature who isn't up to any good. 

The only thing she's good at is making confidence shattering comments that keep you down and out as a writer. She'll whisper, her voice lulling and hypnotic, in your ear, "Is that the best you can do?  What makes you think you can call yourself a writer?"

Yes, her Umbridge-like personality makes her seem like your best friend, but take her face off -

 And you will see her for the pitiful creature she is.  She's ugly and unhappy because of her cruel ways.

When she gets too noisy, I can put her under a cup and just watch her frown at me.  Like so.

Now I can continue writing in peace.

Okay, okay, I confess, I have yet to actually try this exercise (I'm getting ahead of myself again), but I'm visualizing it working, so it's bound to help, right?  I'm forever the optimist to counter Ernestine's pessimism.

So, what does you're inner critic look or sound like and how do you tell them off?


Vatche said...

Hey, Lena! (I have a friend by that same name, too!)

As for my inner critic, he/she/it is currently trapped in my mind and I have yet to find a physical manifestation for it to take the form of, but that sounds like a cool way of beating your inner demons.

Cool pics of Ernestine, also. I like how you trapped her underneath the cup!

As for how my inner critic sounds like, it keeps telling me things like, "Quit while you're ahead," or "Go be a doctor, writing is not your forte," or "You call THAT writing?!"

Yup! My inner critic is mean, but I thank my followers and my friends for supporting my writing. Sometimes the worst critic is one's self.

So anyway, enough of my ramblings...Write on and fight on!

Lena S. said...

Hey Vatche,

Thanks for dropping by! Ernestine's been pretty quiet lately (I think she's still getting over her time out from the other day), but I keep her by my computer so I can keep an eye out for her.

Good luck to you in taming your inner critic. Having supporters to talk over him/her helps :).