Posted by: Gwendolyn Huber | August 14, 2018

Silencing the Critic’s Voice

It occurred to me this week, that the voice of the Writer’s Critic has been a bigger hindrance over the past (mumble) years than I’d thought.

Have you ever had the experience where you told a secret that you didn’t even know you yourself knew?

The other day as I was spilling out my tortured writer’s soul to my partner, I pinpointed the moment the monstrous critic’s voice became larger than my writing.

There was silence. The birds sang. Little fairy bells chimed.

“Oh,” I said. I hadn’t recognized The Critic had glued herself to my side from that moment on.

I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a young adult this summer. He told me how he’d been really interested in computer programming for a while and then one day he looked at his friend who had photographic memory and said to himself. “I don’t have a photographic memory. I never will. Why am I bothering with something when I’ll never be as good as my friend on his worst day.”

As the conversation continued, I came to understand that he used this same criteria to discount other potential careers.

I was a bit stunned at this logic. Although my head said, that makes sense, my gut said, there’s something wrong with that reasoning.

You do things because you love them, because they captivate your imagination, because they fill some hole in your soul.

You do things whether you’re good or bad at them because not everyone is born with magical abilities and when you keep at things they bring you joy.  I believe that not only the most talented have things to offer. I strongly believe that when it comes to creativity everyone has something to offer.

Those are my words to The Critic.

As for my young friend, he is trying to figure out his place in the world and although I may quarrel with his logic, I understand that he threw up that wall for himself as part of the mystical journey that young adults sometimes take to land in their adult careers. He hasn’t landed yet, but he will.

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