Have you spoken with your inner critic lately?

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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 blog post about the inner critic written by Lilian Wissink…

The inner critic undoes many writers. Do you know what I mean by inner critic? It’s the voice inside your head saying things like:

  • You don’t really know how to write
  • This writing is terrible – no one will want to read it
  • You’re so pathetic – why are you wasting time and paper on writing?

Thanks to a recent nudge from social media, I discovered a website aimed at helping people who suffer from this sort of problem. It’s called Exisle Empowerment and a recent post, How To Free Yourself From Your Inner Critic, offered an interesting strategy for dealing with this particularly gnarly beast.

Psychologist Lilian Wissink suggests having a dialogue with your inner critic. Here’s what that chat should look like, she says:


Writing in your journal, ask your Inner Critic the following questions and see what it answers.

• What are you telling me?
• Why do you keep telling me these things?
• What are you hoping to do by telling me all these things?

Feel free to answer back and continue the dialogue. Sometimes the dialogue comes easily and sometimes it takes time.

I, too, find that speaking with my inner critic immensely helpful. Usually, thought, I just tell it to bug off until I’m in the editing phase of writing, when it actually might help me a little. Perhaps next time I’ll ask it these questions and see what it might reveal…


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