Friday, July 29, 2016

Coping with Your Inner Critic

If you've been reading our recent blog posts, you've had glimpses of how we TeachingAuthors are spending our summer, from researching to reading to teaching.

This week, I'm attending the Catholic Writers Guild Convention in Schaumburg, Illinois, where
on Wednesday I gave a presentation on "Coping with Your Inner Critic." Much of my talk was based on the book Wrestling with Your Angels: A Spiritual Journey to Great Writing (Adams Media) by Janet O. Hagberg. Unfortunately, the book is out-of-print, but you can still find used copies online.

Hagberg says,
“We all have strong inner critics standing on one shoulder, reminding us of our failures, telling us to stop before we embarrass ourselves . . . .”
The critic’s fundamental goal is to destroy our confidence. But Hagberg also reassures us that:
“If on one shoulder we have the critic, on the other we have an angel . . .  providing answers to the critic.” 
image courtesy of Pixabay
Hagberg encourages us to get to know and befriend our critic. The critic tends to be sharp-tongued, but if we set boundaries and give the critic specific assignments, we can get it to keep quiet long enough for us to get some work done. As Hagberg says:
“The critic loves to be needed, and the grooming, editing, and polishing aspects of writing lend themselves to the critic’s skills. . . . Critics are also great at sorting out how to use feedback. . . . "
I promised the conference attendees that I'd share some additional resources on dealing with the critic in today's blog post. Here are several from our TeachingAuthors blog:
The following articles may also be of interest:
I'll still be at the conference when this post goes live. But when I get back, I'd love to know how you, our TeachingAuthors readers, cope with your inner critic. Please share in the comments below.

Happy writing,


Anne Costa said...

Thank you Carmela, I missed your talk I'm sorry to say...but what a wonderful time it was

Carmela Martino said...

Great to meet you there, Anne. Thanks for sharing your talk.

Rebecca C said...

Thanks for all these great links, Carmela! And I just put Hagberg's book on my wish list--it sounds like my kind of read.

Carmela Martino said...

You're welcome, Rebecca!