Inspired by Lucy Bellwood (though let’s face it, I’m frequently inspired by her), I launched headfirst into a week of Inner Critic Investigation. If you want to join in, check out this Patreon post or her instagram.
For those who don’t have time to click the links, the project goes like this: you’re given a question as a prompt, you post it yo your inner critic, then you set a timer to six minutes and write everything they have to say.
There’s no obligation on making this a public exercise, but I decided to try, mainly because of it being Lucy who inspired it. She’s the creator of 100 Demon Dialogues, an exploration of internal critics that is heartfelt, frequently humorous, and radically honest.
So, here is my inner critic’s answer from today. Published unabridged, with mild reshuffling of paragraphs for better sense-making.
Day 1. What’s Your Story?
My story is that of fear of being a disappointment to our family, knowing that mom and grandpa will never be proud of us if we don’t make a lot of money.
I want to be successful because that’s the only way for me to feel valid. I’ve never been taught any other measure of worth. So I beat you up for not being accomplished yet, not doing things fast enough, for not being as good as professional writers, or worse, for being better than writers who got published, because how come they could do it, and you couldn’t?
I’m scared that our writing career will amount to nothing, and therefore, we will have lived a life without “making a career.”
I’m the you who wanted to make a difference in the world, or at least in someone’s world, through your art, and knows that you still haven’t made any.
I’m the dream you who, when faced to choose between music and writing, had pursued music instead, and made a successful career out of it.
My brief impression of this first brush with my inner critic? Holy flying guacamole, THE PRESSURE. I want to give the poor thing a cup of tea with about 50% rum in it, wrap her in a blanket and let her sleep for a week.
(Full disclosure, I also maybe want to drown her in a pond because the bit about music, that was a low blow like whoa.)
Kinda scared of what day 2 will bring. But we’ll see.