Me Versus My Inner Critic


The beginning of August was spent purging my house of old documents and images, old clothes, old things and old ideas. I’d spent the summer away from home and coming back I felt bogged down by the presence of stuff that needed to be used or released. If I could recycle things or give them away, I did.

After my space was purged,  I felt lighter but I still felt something was missing.  Since I was heading to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a week’s holiday it seemed that this might be a great time to do a mental purge while sitting by a pool.

I grabbed some of the documents about writer’s block and care for the creative soul  that survived my purge and away I went.

The thing that I have a hard time with when it comes to tips about writer’s block or motivation is hat they all seem to be really common sense things. I always feel like I know this stuff, so why aren’t I doing this already? Ah, if anyone could really answer this.

One set of exercises that caught my attention was a handout from seminar I went to by Robin D. Owens in 2006 (or 2007?) about dealing with the inner critic. There were a bunch of writing exercises to analyze the source of the inner critic and then exercises for affirmations to exorcise the inner critic. The exercise that resonated with me the most was not a writing exercise but to draw your inner critic. You see the result above.

The image gave me a lot more to think about compared to the writing exercises. I could probably go back and do a better job on the written things now. So all of this is food for thought, especially about how I need to work.

Ironically, this is the most creative thing I did this holiday. I had brought a set of wax-oil and water color crayons to do some sketches of scenes in Kuala Lumpur and I never got around to drawing the scenery. I spent a lot of time beside the pool working on this image. I have some good photos of Kuala Lumpur, but this drawing is a better memento of my trip. Every time I look at this drawing, I remember vignettes of the city. More importantly the drawing  represents a time I had to relax, reflect and be meta about being creative.

2 thoughts on “Me Versus My Inner Critic”

  1. Wonderful. Good for you on the purging. I need to purge my living space, too…..desperately, and maybe that will help me finally finish my novel (a cluttered house = a cluttered mind, they say). But I really love your drawing, and will remember it when MY inner critic keeps me from writing.


  2. I agree with the cluttered house = cluttered mind. I have a clutter threshold and once that has been tipped, nothing creative happens at all.

    I’m happy you like the drawing. It was a lot of fun for me. Not my usual medium either so that added to the fun.

    What really surprised me is how optimistic the drawing is and how much easier it was to draw a response than write one.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: