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047 - Defeating the Critic

critic self doubt May 28, 2020

Hey Guys! Nicole here!

If 80% of the population wants to write a book and only 2% do, then I hate to break it to you, but you will likely be judged about whatever it is you write!

There is always the voice of the inner critic- will it be a good book, will my reader relate, who will hate or judge me? Am I a good writer…I’m not a good writer!

Then there are those that, once you have written, will judge you for not being good enough to have a voice…who are you to write a book? It’s likely they are jealous they haven’t in most cases. 

People, especially close family and friends, can be the biggest critics because they see who you are and what you’ve been though. They may see you as the little girl, the little sister, the daughter…the person you were when they last knew you…when you were like maybe 18 at the oldest. 

And then there are the neigh-sayers that don’t think you could possibly have enough life experience to have a valid or worthwhile opinion. And then there are those that don’t see how hard you work, the struggle you have day to day, or maybe even judge you for not being educated or experienced enough. Or maybe they don’t see your material wealth and deem you unworthy.  

There is a great quote that says “what you think of me is none of my business” and in many ways you have to develop tough skin to write a book. Now, of course, you can play it safe, and write your book in a way that is completely neutral and not spill the messy personal stuff. There are plenty of books written this way and, of course, as a reader you may have a preference what you gravitate towards reading. As a writer, you may also have a preference for how you write. Clearly, if you are writing a business book, you’d leave out all the messy narrative if your trying to position yourself as a strong executive. Or, you might give the 10,000 ft view…you, know…I had a challenge I overcame. Pretty neutral. 

But, if you are like me, you tend to write for therapy and every book tend to be a messy breakdown ugly cry multiple times during it’s creation, well then…I guess it’s let the chips fall where they may, right? I’ve exposed a lot of my weaknesses in my books, but they way I’ve always seen writing is like a kind of therapeutic healing that perhaps someone can relate to and use to overcome their obstacles. 

I read plenty of books from authors daily and the one thing in common is 90% of them play it safe. You always read and think “Oh, c’mon now…I know it was far messier and uglier than that!” I’ll often read and think… you know there’s another story here not being told!

So, the way you tackle the critic really comes down to how well you can handle the messy stuff and how strong you are both in yourself and in the conviction to share your story and experiences. Myself, by the time my books are published it was so yesterday…it’s fine what people think of me because I’m a new person now. I do find it fascinating to go back and look at how I’ve grown both as an author and as a person though when I peer into the pages of my books. 

There are some fundamental spiritual practices I have brought forth into all areas of my life and here are a few of them you can both bring into your life and your book:

  1. Non engagement
  2. Non judgement
  3. Non suffering
  4. Walk with beauty

What do these mean to you? For me it means “Get it on the page and go!” You want to write, not being married to the reader, but perhaps affecting the reader to want to engage you. When you place judgement aside for yourself and how you are perceived you can move more into heart-centered expression. And non-suffering…well, you often hear “bleed onto the pages” but if you adhere to the previous ideas you won’t get too attached to the outcome. And walking with beauty means that no matter how deep you go with your stories and how much blood gets poured onto those pages, you see that you have to turn around your experiences and story for the benefit of both yourself and the reader. Who would read your book if it were filled with problems. Be sure to provide an overview of solutions or how you came through the other side of the obstacles you broke through.

As a writer you become vulnerable, you bear your soul…and even if you don’t go deep. You are putting it out there…and at minimum, you can become paralyzed by the fear of failure and judgement alone. As with all things in life, you have to let go and let god. You can keep wondering what it would be like to do whatever that thing is you’ve dreamed of doing or decide that today is the day I’m willing to try, do, or step into your becoming.

Trust me guys, I know taking the dive in can be hard, but the best advice I can give you is to start with the wound. It will open up your strength. I have a book inside of me that is waiting to come out too. I know what it looks like when the urge becomes greater than the longing. When it overcomes you, there is no way out but to sit and write.

As always, I’m wishing you peace, love, and light. Be well!

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