Two little words to disarm your inner editor

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This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a blog post about how to disarm your inner editor….

Does your inner editor ever stop you from finishing (or perhaps even starting) a piece of writing? You know what I mean by inner editor, right?

This is the little voice that says to you:

I’m not a good enough writer to take on this job.

Everyone is going to laugh at me, scornfully, when they read what I’ve written.

I don’t have the skill or the knowledge to pull off a piece of writing like this.

You may think your inner editor wants to protect you. But, in fact, he or she will cosset you in wool and not allow you to do anything, never mind anything risky. I work with many clients who struggle mightily with this voice and I can see how it holds them back and makes them feel miserable.

I’m always looking for ways writers can hold this voice at bay and I think I’ve found a new one, thanks to a blog post from poet, coach and podcaster Mark McGuinness. He suggests using two words: Even though.

Here’s how he describes the procedure:

“All you have to do is add these words to any negative statement from your Inner Critic, and they take the sting out of them:

Even though I’m just a nobody…

Even though it’s all been done before…

Even though I’ve failed before…

Even though this is bound to be a disaster…

And here’s the punchline:

…I’m going to do it anyway!”

The next time you’re questioning your own ability to write, I suggest you try these two words and see if they make you feel more confident. I bet they will.

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