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Inner Critic Investigation, Day 3

Gearing up for a marathon investigation session. Much coffee will be drunk and many fists shaken at uncooperative interrogatees. (It’s a lot of work when you have to be good and bad cop at the same time.)

Archive and background:
Day 1. What’s your story?
Day 2. What are you trying to protect me from?

Day 3. What do you treasure?

Validation. Validation. VALIDATION.

Any external system of coordinates to let us know we did good, more importantly, let us know that we did RIGHT.

Grades, bonuses, awards, positive feedback, anything that gives value to your work outside of what you think, because you could be wrong. You probably are, because no-one taught you how to write, you just picked up a pen and figured stuff out on your own, came up with answers without an answer key at the back of the book, with no teacher to tell you you’re on the right track.

You know, that’s why I’m not letting you read most writing advice, or take courses. Those people sound so confident about what they do, they obviously know what they’re talking about. They must be right.

What happens if these confident, RIGHT people tell you you’ve been writing wrong this entire time???

Well, there’s that. I’ll just add that for a few years the blanket ban on writing advice and/or courses also extended to most new books. In my teenage years, I was an utter bookworm, then during the more busy and stressful years I’d mostly recycle old stories, and when I started writing seriously, I could barely read anything except Terry Pratchett. I’m still in the process of reclaiming reading for pleasure. Note to self: it would be interesting to explore my relationship with reading during one of the beats.

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