Friday, 27 July 2007

Coffee Time?

Over on CS Harris's blog ,, she wrote on the defence of the inner critic. It was an interesting discussion. When do you let your inner critic in? Ever? Right at the start? Second draft or so on?

I realized reading CS's blog that I don't let the inner critic near me during the first draft, as I would never get anything written but I have found that critic really useful in every other draft. However I do end up feeling the like the work is sh-t. This I know is not a bad thing.

So do you have an inner critic? What do you do with him/her?

BTW way I need a double espresso as I foolish was out with 29 yr. old niece and her friends on Wednesday night and thought I could keep up! Hah, two days later and I'm still suffering!


Jude said...

Hi Zinnia Cyclamen

Thanks for adding me to the novel racers. Very exciting! Only thing is I can't seem my name on the list on the left. Am I going mad???

This is all very thrilling. I got my first two comments on my blog the other day. Hurrah!

On the inner critic debate, mine is a right little busy body. So I tend to find myself redrafting chapters as I go along. That's not to say I won't still have one hell of an edit to do when I finish. She's got a lot to say, this critic of mine!

Jude x


leatherdykeuk said...

My inner critic writes in shifts. I can write a chapter and then listen to it or not.

It's fully to the fore in second drafts and edits, though.

Jen said...

Ugh, my inner critic just tells me that everything is awful - including the size of my behind!! I do tend to let it have its say and I edit madly as I go along.

Jude, have you emailed Nichola? She's the one with the power to add people. CTaylor also has similar powers but she's whooping it up somewhere lovely this week I think.

Kate.Kingsley said...

Hi all,

And welcome Jude :-)

Have had a very busy & active week on all counts, and am really sufferign thsi morning ~ I have a major headache and feel almost hungover, but I've not had a drop to drink all week! So cruel, to suffer without the pleasure beforehand.

WIP is jogging along nicely ~ and thats only becuase I have managed to silence the inner critic whilst i blast through the first draft. I sued to get horribly bogged down in going over & over the same snippets, trying to perfect them ~ this time I have decided to just keep going with the words and let the critic have a say once the first draft is done & ready to be shaped and polished. I'm fully aware that some of what I've written so far is utter drivel, but the inner critic is staying firmly gagged until I'm ready to let her start sifting for the "diamonds in the dustheap" (Virginia Woolf).

Yet whilst I'm surging forth with the WIP my inner critic still needs an outlet, and so she is trying to confound me out of submitting a job application: "you won't get it, you're not experienced enough", "what if you get pregnant and have to leave before the contract ends?", "what if its longer hours and means that you lose your writing time", "what if it's too hard", "what if no-one likes you" etc etc etc. Off to read the articile Liz linked in order to find a way to get her off my case!

Hope everyone had a great week,

best wishes
Kate K

Kate.Kingsley said...

PS ~ apologies for the rather slapdash spelling in my previous comment!

Helen said...

Inner critic is alive and well inside me, being an extremely vocal little blighter. My ambition and increased confidence is trying to drown it out, although it will always be there, and indeed should always be there.

I have left my first draft well alone for nearly two weeks now. Am hoping husband will print it out for me soon so I can start reading through it next week. We'll see what the inner critic thinks of that!

KeVin K. said...

My internal critic is my constant companion. Fortunately he's easily distracted and tends not to notice when I've mailed things. Tends to go on about wha I should change about stories already on editors' desks. I pretty much leave him alone and pay only passing attention to his philippics.

Nowhere near as much wriitng as I wanted to do today.
Original novel starts on Monday.

Welcome aboard, Jude. (They explained about new members having to buy each of the established members a cup of coffee didn't they?)

NoviceNovelist said...

Liz hope you got your expresso - sending you a virtual one! Hi Jude and welcome. My inner critic dissappears if I'm in good writing flow but harrangues me endlessly if I'm not. My trick is to try and get flowing quickly before it has a chance to wake up and get in on the act. If I'm really struggling to even get a few paragraphs down in a writing session then my critic thinks its got carte blanc to take over - then I'm stuffed really!!!

I'm hoping it will be in good form tomorrow as I've just printed off my first draft and am going to read it for the first time. I'm going to really try and read it through first to see if the story works and then do a second read with the red pen for all the little bits. It's going to be a lengthy session!!!!

Good luck with your read Helen!

sheepish said...

Hi everyone, I'm feeling quite up at the moment as I have made it to 30,000 words, although I think the really hard work probably starts now!!!
I am keeping my inner critic quiet with timely use of a cricket bat. I am trying to get the first draft done before attacking with the red pen in case there's nothing left.
Welcome Jude and shall now pop over to CS Harris's blog incase I should be less aggressive with the bat!!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Hi Jude, I didn't add you, I just came over to say hello and welcome. As Jen says, you need to email Nichola to get added.

At the moment I have two inner critics playing ping-pong with my psyche. One says 'you can't do it all on your own, you're not clever enough, you'll have to get some help and support' and the other says 'thinking of asking for support? How self-indulgent when there are others in much more need of help than YOU'. And that's just today's version! But when they're not looking I'll disembowel them. So that's OK. ;-)

liz fenwick said...

Hi Jude. i can add you to the side bar but Blogger isn't copperating at the moment but I had problems posting this morning too.

Sounds like everyone keeps the inner critic in check most of the time :-)

B.E. Sanderson said...

Good Morning Everyone! (Or good whatever-time-of-day it is where you are.)

The inner critic (aka the internal editor) is always with me. The more I write, the quieter it is though. I think it's a matter of being confident in your ability and the more you work, the more confident you get. But maybe that's just me.

Cathy said...

I'm afraid I'm really struggling with my inner critic at the moment. I need to let go of my perfectionist tendencies, then I might be able to progress my wordcount!

A. Writer said...

My inner critic sits on my shoulder for most of the time I'm writing. I try to ignore it but sometimes it just creeps up and niggles away at the back of mind, while I'm writing anything;first draft, second draft or editing.

Not done much writing this week. Life has got in the way again. I'll hopefully do some over the weekend, fingers crossed!

hesitant scribe said...

My inner critic is ghastly and mean, and intolerant, and not at all hesitant. I wish my inner critic would not be so critical and then I might get my novel finished!

CTaylor said...

I have to battle my inner critic the whole time. While I was writing my first draft I constatnly mentally batted it round the head and shouted "Go away, go away!" Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.

Only two things really worked:

1) Repeating "you have permission to write rubbish" and "first drafts are supposed to be crap" over and over again

2) Having a couple of glasses of wine

For the sake of my liver I did 1) more than 2).

It's interesting, looking back, that the 'best' bits of the book are where I managed to temporarily quell the inner critic and just wrote. The bits where the inner critic was shouting in my ear are horrible and unwieldy and clanky.

It's going to be interesting when I come to do the second draft and have to turn the inner critic on and off as I edit then re-write!

Nichola said...

There are four people who have the power to add bloggers; I'm only one of 'em.

My internal editor gets completely ignored during the first draft. There's no need for him/her/it to be around. I give myself permission to write utter shit and boy, do I ever. I'm rewriting something now and the first draft makes me wonder, "What was I thinking?"

But it's salvageable, so I'll continue to work on it. Once I've written what's left of the second draft out longhand, I'll type it back onto the computer and let my inner critic loose on it then. It's already putting in the occasional appearance with comments like, "This is rubbish!" or "What on Earth did you write THAT?"

Well, I guess it's better than being self-satisfied and not trying to improve, right?