Fighting My D-Bag Inner Critic
Why, brain, must you forsake me?
These past couple of weeks… my writing has significantly slowed down. I’m terrified that it’s going to reach that inevitable halting screech, and I might never finish anything. The only reason why I assume such a thing is because I have had a habit of doing it in the past. I would start and finish a couple of projects, then boom, I start drinking myself to sleep again. Before, I would have blamed this on “writer’s block.” Except that it’s nothing like writer’s block at all, because I know what to write; my stories are practically boarded and tacked up scene-by-scene in my head, and I know exactly how it all comes out. Writer’s block is usually caused by a lack of creativity flow.
Lately, I’ve been on the, um… stressed-out side.
Maybe I should have chewed the paper harder?
Maybe not so much stressed as I have been really, really depressed. This isn’t anything new for me, exactly. I feel this way almost every day– some days are better and more neutral than others, but it’s bad enough to be… bad. But usually, writing will help curb my depression and make me feel more at ease. It relieves my stress. I haven’t been able to write for more than ten minutes at a time now. Mostly because whenever I look at my writing, I do one of these:
OH GOD. IT’S SO BAD.
And lately, that feeling has only been worsening. Every author has the inner critic, the little voice that challenges you, tells you, “come on, bro. You’re not that good. You’re not the next Stephen King, or anything. You’re just a nobody. A loser.” Mine is like that, only louder, angrier, and he’s holding about fifteen guns. He keeps them in a coat, you see. It’s heavy, but convenient. Oh, and he has at least three at a time aimed at me. How does he manage three when he only has two hands? He’s just that violent.
My inner critic is a gigantic asshole. The worst thing about him is that he doesn’t quit until I’m sobbing into a tub of ice cream and listening to Josh Groban while rain spatters the window as a puppy whimpers in the distance. He causes plants to wilt and renders sugar tasteless. He wrings my emotions through a spiked ricer and drains them in a colander of emptiness. I guess you could say he’s less of a “critic” and more of an “abusive sibling.” I’d say it’s this inner douchebag inside me that prevents me from writing, but it’s more like the 6-year-old child within me is at fault for taking everything this maniacal lunatic says to heart. The problem isn’t that I don’t know how to go about writing my sequels. It’s that I want to throw my fist through my monitor whenever I look at anything I made; especially a work-in-progress.
You’ll never believe how this happened…
So, if one writes to help their depression, but can’t write because their own writing depresses them, what are they to do? Have a lollipop and get over it would be step one, but apparently that’s beyond my scope of reasoning. Stop listening to my inner critic? Yeah, right. He’s the reason people keep telling me, “your work is really well-written.” Without him, I’d go into E. L. James territory… and we all know that’s a territory too seedy to tread. He’s the reason for me noticing when a sentence just sounds really stupid, and tells me whether or not I should delete it. This is even after I told myself in another blog post a month ago that I have to keep writing or I’ll go insane. Way to take my own advice, me.
Soooo I called my therapist, feeling a bit at a loss otherwise. Until I start up a few sessions with her, I’m afraid my profession is going to have to take a short hiatus. I want to continue the Double Helix series– I really do. I want to write Kevin and Andrew. It normally makes me feel delighted to wake up and start telling their story. As the days go on… I feel like they hate me as much as my inner critic does. And when your own imaginary friends can’t stand you… well…
Wait! Guys! Come baaaaaaaaaaaaack…
I don’t blame them, of course. Their creator hasn’t been on medication in a long time. That and the hot showers I take are getting longer and longer– and hotter. So, maybe it’s time. Yeah, I suppose “depressed author” is a bit of a cliche. I don’t mind that. What I do mind is quitting before anyone can even call me an author. I’d rather be “depressed author seeking help” than a “person who is too busy wallowing in self-pity to get anything done.”
I’m determined not to give up. I’m not letting that jerk within me beat me. For good or for bad, my series (and subsequent series after that) will get published. I just have to be able to shut him up before I can.
Oh, and I have to do this:
*choke* Get the butter pecan…
I couldn’t get through it without my husband, who always tries to push me back on my feet whenever I fall down. He really does remind me that I shouldn’t give up.
I wish my conscience was as sweet as him.