Saturday, August 15, 2009
Putting a Gag on the Inner Critic
Inner Critic: You can't write that!
Me: Why not?
Inner Critic: It's not literary enough! It's too personal! It's too deep! It's too shallow! It's not funny! It's raunchy! It's not for kids! It's not even for adults, that one, really, you should just ctrl-a and hit delete, for the good of mankind, go ahead, do it now, I'm waiting. You know, there's always the fireplace. Remember when we burned those books of poetry you wrote in 1985? That was a nice, warm night. We could do that again. S'mores sound good right about now. Hey, got any popcorn? We could watch a movie. Something that someone wrote that other people enjoyed and has passed the test of time and numerous audiences. Or you could just find a formula and follow that or, I know! Write an outline. Write several outlines. That way you don't have to fill in the blanks.
And then we could eat chocolate!
Me: Gets old sock, and menacingly approaches Inner Critic.
Inner Critic: What are you doing? Anna? Anna?
Inner Critic: Shrieks in terror,then shuts up.
Me: Sighs in relief.
Inner Critic: Mumbles unintelligibly from the corner.
Me: Starts typing the first thing that comes to my head, no matter what it is, for the sake of opening up the door to every single opportunity, creatively, that comes along.
The moral of the story is: just freaking type. You'll get some good gems out of it. Others you may not wish to keep. What you think others will like, you may not end up liking.
Write what you would like to read, or to see on TV or in a movie.
Write what makes your kid laugh. Just to see him smile and hear him laugh. Isn't that enough of a reward?
Someday, other kids may laugh, also. And if they don't, well, at least he did.
Just don't let your inner critic make a pincushion out of you and paralyze your fingers, like mine did.
She looks good in the sock. I think she'll wear it for a while. It suits her.
Inner Critic: (mumbling) I'll get you! And your little dog, too!
Me: You can have the dog. But that's another story.
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Anna C. Morrison is an author of children’s books, including Silly Moments and Green Gooey Goop, with many more to follow. She is also an adjunct professor for multiple colleges and universities, both face-to-face and online. While she instructs various levels of English composition, she also teaches classes on literature, film, feature writing, and technical writing, among others. In addition, she has worked with Adapt Courseware as a writing consultant on three video course projects, including college skills and composition. Anna received her MFA in Writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky, and her BA in English, Creative Writing, from California State University, San Bernardino. Anna is an active member of SCBWI and is available for book signings. She lives in Southern California with her family and pets. Please visit her web site at www.annacmorrison.com.