by Aleisha Brooks
Sunday, January 26, 2020
How to be a writer.
How to be a good writer.
How to know you are.
How does self-criticism stop you before you start?
(*Below this post, I am sharing some wonderful book recommendations to help you discover yourself and your voice.)
A decision to BE a writer.
Decide your purpose. Why do you write?
Many writers ask themselves, “Am I a good writer?” Or better yet, “Do I suck?”
This is what’s called instant self-criticism, instant self-doubt. It’s one of the most destructive habits you need to break yourself of as a writer. Now, how do you do that? One could argue that that’s just the way that it is and all artists have this flaw but the strongest artists work despite the internal struggle. But how?
First of all, it might help you to identify what this self-criticism is.
Let’s ask ourselves some questions:
Do you feel relieved when you decide you can’t do something? If you decide something is too hard to do, do you sit down and sigh with relief? Do you watch TV? Do you do something else that is a time-waster? Like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, for instance?
If so, this self-criticism is an excuse to justify inaction, laziness(another word). Because, of course, if you’re not good enough, how can you expect to create a bestseller, when you don’t expect it from yourself, so how could an audience expect it from you?
When the self-doubt kicks in, do you push through it and write anyway? Does the self-doubt just makes you criticize yourself more? Or get angry or destructive to your own work?
If this is you, then this is actually , but the combined criticisms you have had throughout your life, now taken on by you, because you accepted the criticism as your own. Only now, you're using it against yourself.
Any criticism and self-doubt is exactly this. It started outside you and you adopted it as your own. That’s all. You are a creative person and unfortunately, as creative people, we are magnets for critics. But knowing that, you cannot be the negative affect of it. In fact, you can use it to motivate yourself.
Any time you feel the self-doubt come in, make a cognitive decision to turn it on its head and disagree. You know what it is, it’s not you. So, don’t let it be you. Don't agree with it. Give yourself a positive thing to do. One tip you can do when this comes on, give yourself a task that makes you feel accomplished. Because self-criticism wants nothing more than for you to not accomplish something. So, instead set the next goal and accomplish it, even if it's a single page.
Here’s an exercise:
Decide what your purpose is as a writer. Why do you want to write?
Decide you want to be a writer.
What do you want to write? What subject matter or genre?
Now, write a paragraph or two about what you like about that genre.
Take a few minutes and work out a schedule today for when you will write and for how long. Now, make sure you follow this schedule today.
And my book... sure why not the shameless plug?
Inspiration can and will come if you keep yourself inspired with these tools. :)
Get in touch if you’ve got any comments, questions, suggestions, or just want to say hello.
Aleisha would be more than happy to hear from you.