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Jul 06

Shut the Noise

“Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.”

Samuel Johnson

Do you edit as you write? Do you struggle with every word, sentence, paragraph, character, and scene before you decide that your writing is not yet perfect? Do you hit the delete button more often than the save button? Do you hear the critic in your head saying that you can’t write, that you need to find another hobby?

Shut the noise! Stop allowing your inner critic to dictate the success or failure of your writing life. Quiet that voice in your head which is telling you to quit.

Not easy you say? Of course, it’s not. Your inner voice fears rejection. It fears failure. It even fears success. That voice is afraid of jumping off the high diving board, riding a motorcycle, or taking a chance on love. That voice has held you back long enough. Take a plunge. Take a ride. Take a leap of faith. Try something different. Be brave. Write what you feel. Write what you’ve always wanted to write. Write with abandon. Write without restrictions. Even if what you write is not the next great American novel (Whose is?), just write because that is what you want to do.

Some writers say, “If you don’t write in spite of your inner critic or negative feedback from others, then you’re not really a writer.” I disagree. Some people are born with a stronger sense of self-worth than others, but that doesn’t mean that they are better writers. It just means they are more capable of forging ahead in spite of the negative voices.

Do you really want to write? Than do it! Don’t worry about imperfections as you work. Just write! You can always edit once you finish.

8 comments

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  1. Kelly Bixby

    Booklover, thanks for your encouraging viewpoint. It’s funny how long I listened to similar advice: “Just start!” Now I wish I hadn’t waited so long.

    1. Barbara Pattee

      You’re welcome, Kelly. No time like the present to start.

  2. Sue Remisiewicz

    Before computers were the norm, some advice given to me was to start writing on a piece of paper with a coffee ring on it. That freed me from the idea that everything I put on paper had to be perfect from the start. I like what you said about hitting the delete button more than the save button. It’s good perspective for the digital age.

    1. Barbara Pattee

      Thank you, Sue. The idea of a coffee ring on your paper is intriguing. Now that I use the computer more often, I’ve decided to type a series of nonsensical phrases before I begin and when I get stuck. Then I don’t have to worry about my writing being perfect every time.

  3. Claire Murray

    Good advice! I’m going to take it right now when I rewrite my blog for July!

    1. Book Lover

      Thank you, Claire. I’m going to tape a copy of my blog near the computer when I write to remind myself to “Shut the Noise.”

  4. Karen Kittrell

    Book Lover – your posts are the perfect length. I can always read quick and benefit immediately. When I was a member of the GDRWA, one session was dedicated to taming the inner critic. Many of the writers had an object to represent the source of criticism. I chose a Halloween Pez dispenser. She graces my desk as The Writing Witch and occasionally sails across the room when she is naughty and interfering with my work.

    1. Book Lover

      What a cool idea. I’m looking for the perfect object to represent my source of criticism. Thank you for your positive comments.

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