NaNoWriMo Tip #19: Living With the Inner Critic Faerie
The NaNoWriMo competition is a race to the finish. One thing that will keep you from reaching your goals in only eleven days is the magical internal critic faerie.
My current WIP This Broken Earth is being released in three separate installments with a complete text being released in January. I set deadlines for myself and then announced them both in the text of my installments and on my blog and social network pages. It keeps me honest, but it also has taught me to not be so critical of my rough draft writing.
Here are a couple of ways that I deal with my inner critic so that he doesn’t use my deadlines to create writer’s block:
1. Keep Calm and Write On – Sometimes I completely ignore my inner critic. I know this may be sometimes like jumping off of a cliff without any means of rescue, but I have found it exhilarating when the risks I take end up causing that inner critic to apologize for being so stupid.
2. Take Careful Notes – I will be writing along on my rough draft and along comes the Internal Critic Faerie, picking apart my carefully written dialogue or my descriptive scene and rather than completely ignore it, I make a note in the margin of my text (in Scrivener there is a handy “notes” section to every section of text in the binder). I will later refer to these notes once I am finished with the rough draft during the revision process. Any notes that bear another look will be thought about at that time so that I do not let my rough draft bog down when I am initially writing the novel.
3. Strong Ideas Take Strong Friends – If the Inner Critic Faerie speaks loudly enough to derail my rough draft entirely, I call him out by calling a friend in my writing group or at school another English teacher. I bounce these ideas off of them and see what sticks so that I can continue with the rough draft unhindered. Two brains always think better than one.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the Internal Critic Faerie. It comes around to help me and keep me from making bad decisions, but sometimes its suggestions are found to be simple faerie dust and fade with time, but other things it points out save me loads of embarrassment as well.