|cartoon by Doug Savage, of Savage Chickens fame|
Everyone has one. Everybody has an inner critic. Sometimes they rear their ugly head when we look in the mirror and spy the two honkin' huge zits that sprung up on our face. (What kind of cruel god would give me hot flashes AND zits at the same time?)
Sometimes they tromp on in when we're writing. And instead of saying, "Yikes! You are one hot mess,' they say, "That story sucks."
Most writers have their own ideas and strategies when it comes to rough drafts. Many just hunker down and get the story/article/novel down on paper. Even if you think some of your word choices could be improved upon. Even if you know there are huge holes in the piece. Just get it down, and worry about fixing it up after the first draft is done.
Some even conjure up an image of their inner critic. Mine is a middle-aged lady. She never wears anything except a faded, thread-bare housecoat. On her feet--dingy slippers. She smokes, and the ash of her cigarette is so long, it's always on the verge of dropping off onto the floor. And she wears glasses--pink-tinged plastic frames. Cat-eye glasses.
When I have to explain my piece to Cat-Eye Lady, when I have to rationalize my choices to her, my writing becomes stronger. I either become more convinced, or my explanation results in me heading down a different trail with my tale.
So, how do you handle your inner critic? Do you kill them off (I'm overly fond of "death by wood chipper") or do you embrace them?