Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Too little to offer? - Silencing your inner critic


By Wendy Parker


As writers, we all have to learn how to silence our inner critic

Because, like most critics, it likes to talk. And by talk, I mean torment

But before you can muffle and gag this monster into silence

Before you feel it rise up and open its loud and noisy mouth - yet again

And bully you into closing your laptop and stop writing -  yet again

You need to know what you’re dealing with

TOO LITTLE TO OFFER?

You think that you have too little to offer?

You think that what you want to write about has all been said before

So, what's the point?

And the truth is, that yes, it has all been said before

In a thousand different ways

But it hasn’t been said by YOU

In the unique way, you write it

Don't listen to the lie that you have too little to offer

What we deal with every day of our writing life, is self-doubt

At times, it can be crippling

So, you need to shut down the clamour that runs around in your head

And button up the lip of your inner critic once and for all

Because if you don’t, you will stop writing all together

And that my friend, would be a tragedy  

The oily voice that says, “Who do you think you are, trying to be a writer?”

Would have won.

Sure, this whole writing thing feels like you’re taking two steps forward

Then three steps back

But that is the music our words dance to

It’s the rhythm of a writer

I wonder how many books have been left in the graveyard of self-doubt

By writers who gave up?  

Or how many wonderful words, waiting as fossils under the dirt 

Just longing to be discovered?

Probably thousands, maybe even millions

Every writer I speak to has exactly the same experience

Your inner critic tells you that you tried and had a go

You got this far

Which is more than most

And maybe, just maybe this writing gig isn't for you after all

So, give it up and just accept that you have too little to offer

Your inner critic will remind you

That you’ve sent off your manuscript to countless agents and publishers

And all you get back in return is a stack of rejection letters

That have now become so high

You can use them to reach that copy of Great Expectations

On the top shelf of your bookcase and dust off its cover

I have lost count the amount of times I’ve wanted to quit writing

When it sits in the “too hard” basket of life

And let’s face it

Crying and sulking will do you no good, my friend

It just makes the torture of your inner critic all the more agonising

Too little to offer?

You have to silence that clanging noise

To an inaudible sound

So, you can hear God whisper, “Write, write, write.”

I believe that God weeps over all the unwritten words

That could have helped somebody

At just the right moment

Don’t pay any more attention to that inner critic

If you get knocked down, then get back up again

Because you can’t quit

Not on my watch

Not. Going. To. Happen.

You have to believe in yourself

And believe in your writing

Don’t lose faith

And don’t ever give up

You have SO MUCH to offer, my friend

Because God is counting on you to shine your little light

Into the darkness of this world

Remember what it says in Colossians 1:27

‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’

You still think you have too little to offer?

Not a chance!




Wendy xo


Wendy Parker is a member of the Australasian Christian Writers Group and Christian Writers Downunder. When she isn’t shouting from the rooftops on how to discover the real you through listening to God’s voice, she lives in a quite village in the Southern Highlands, along with her wonderful husband of 23 years, her incredible adult son, her beautiful teenage daughter and one spoilt chocolate Labrador, named Rose.

You can find Wendy's blog at www.thebigvoiceonline.com

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8 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this Wendy. How easy it is to listen to discouragement and forget the ‘hope of glory’ - that Christ lives in us. God bless your writing!

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  2. Wow, thanks so much for these lovely words of encouragement, Wendy! I totally concur. My last non-fiction book 'Becoming Me--Finding my true self in God' deals with similar themes and I still find so many people who need to hear such encouragement, as I speak at various places.

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    1. Thank you for your comment Jo-Anne. Yes, absolutely! As writers we can never have too much encouragement. xx

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  3. Thanks for articulating the highs and lows we all experience as we journey with The Critic. We often feel like imposters in this work (and some of us are) and yet we feel compelled to write. That compulsion, for me, outlasts the inner criticism and leaves it in the dust.

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    1. Totally! The word "imposter" gets thrown around in my writers brain all the time! Thanks Steph xx

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  4. What a great way of articulating what all writers have dealt with, at least at some stage of the journey. That inner critic can be relentless, and we really needs encouraging reminders like this to stay brave and keep plodding on.

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  5. Thank you so much Paula. Yes, yes, yes! Stay brave and keep plodding on! xx

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