Does your inner critic get the best of you sometimes?
You’re not alone. If I had a dollar for every time my inner critic told me not to write something, I’d be a millionaire by now.
“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
I wouldn’t say I have any enemies in life, just my inner critic, who if I let it, will trick me into thinking I’m wasting my time blogging.
In the past, I’ve fallen victim to believing what my inner critic says. It makes me feel talentless and with it’s whispering snares, tries to convince me I don’t have what it takes to be a writer, so why even bother?
That led to unpublished blog posts, unsent guest blog post pitches, and little to no blog promotion.
But, as I use positive journaling to make writing a daily practice, it becomes easier to shut that villainous voice down and believe in my own writing potential.
Here are four lies your inner critic will yell at you that will destroy your writing dreams if you let them:
1. “No one will read this”
Ah, every writer’s worst fear. Especially starting out, you worry that only your mom or grandma will read your posts or subscribe to your email lists. Maybe that’s true at first, but it won’t always be that way.
By getting over your fear of putting yourself out there on social media, Medium, and other platforms, your writing will resonate with somebody. It’s just a matter of time before that happens, depending on how much you believe in your writing.
2. “You’re going to fail”
This doubt is totally normal, but you only fail if you don’t try. Failure is actually a good thing, because you learn a lesson from it and come back stronger and more experienced than before.
If your writing career was a maze, you’re going to reach a dead end at some point, but do you stay there? Nope. You simply turn around and look for another route to reach the sweet spot in the center.
3. “I don’t feel like it today”
As humans, we are naturally lazy creatures. It’s easy to make up excuses for not wanting to write, such as having “too much to do” or “not feeling inspired” that day, but you have to push through that. Do it anyway!
Writing a little is better than not writing anything at all. Falling for the “don’t feel like it today” lie means you’re moving farther away from your dream, not moving closer to it. Motivate yourself to make writing a daily habit.
The easiest way to make writing a daily habit is to start a journal (and you don’t have to start it on your own, click here for guidance that works).
4. “It’s not perfect”
It’s never going to be. You could work on a blog post or a novel forever if you wanted to, but that won’t do you any good if you never get it published.
As entrepreneur Derek Sivers says, “If your work isn’t online, it basically doesn’t exist.”
There’s always going to be something you can add, reword, or take out. Get your writing piece to where it’s well written, ask a few people to review it, make edits, and get it out there. Then, start writing something else.
Pump Yourself Up With Positive Affirmations
Successful writers often go through a long, painful process to get to where they are today. As you write, don’t get frustrated on not seeing immediate results. Focus more on the process than the results and celebrate your small wins.
To keep your inspiration up when your inner critic gets you down, keep a journal of positive affirmations about yourself and your writing ability.
Write down a list of good things you like about your writing, compliments from others, and what you have the potential of accomplishing.Some examples of positive affirmations could include:
- “I am a powerful writer and many people will read my writing.”
- “I may not be in the mood to write, but even if I just write for 25 minutes today, I will be one step closer to finishing my story.”
- “I will succeed. It may take some time, but I’ll get there! I need to be patient.”
- “This blog post may not be perfect, but it’s still dang good. It will help many people.”
Recite your positive affirmations to yourself daily; add to this list every day. Memorize them and believe them. At times of discouragement, you can always go back and read these positive affirmations you wrote in your journal to pump yourself up again.
I agree with Bryan Hutchinson, if you journal with purpose you can change your life, especially your writing life.
Don’t allow yourself to be your own worst enemy. Be your own best friend—the kind who cheers you on and encourages you to keep going.
You’ve got what it takes. Know that.