The inner critic is the part of you that can be harshly critical when you start something new or when you get stuck. In my book, “Your Writing Coach,” I suggest some ways to get rid of it, and right now I have an additional one. I call this one THE BLOW-UP METHOD.
It’s really simple: Just listen to the negative statements or thoughts and exaggerate each one, step by step, with each step being worse than the last.
Example: You’re about to start writing or maybe about to start sending you your manuscript. Your Inner Critic tells you, “You’re wasting your time. Nobody will like it or want it.”
Now start exaggerating possible responses:
“Not only will nobody want it, their rejection letters will insult you.”
“Not only will they insult you, they will hire a billboard to tell the world how bad a writer you are.”
“Not only will they hire a billboard, they’ll take out prime time television ads to humiliate you.”
“Not only will you be humiliated on prime-time television, you will be deported and never allowed to return.”
“Not only will you be deported, no country will take you in and you’ll spend the rest of your life on a small island in the middle of the ocean.”
“Even a small island in the middle of the ocean won’t want you; you and your manuscript will be shot into outer space.”
I know that’s silly, but the point is that it’s easy to lose our sense of humor when we really want something to succeed. This little exercise brings back some perspective and some humour to help you avoid being dominated by the inner critic. It’s fast and it’s fun, so if and when your inner critic shows up, give it a try.
You'll find lots of additional innovative ways to overcome blocks, be more productive, and write well in my book, "Your Creative Writing Masterclass." It features writing advice from some of the greatest writers of all time. It's published by Nicholas Brealey and you can get it from Amazon or your other favorite bookseller.