Cruel Self-Talk and ROW80 Check-In

Just a quick post today, because I’m going to send you over to a post I wrote yesterday at Turtleduck Press. It’s about New Year’s resolutions, changing goals, and how we talk to ourselves.

Here’s a snippet:

I’m doing a writing challenge that involves twice-weekly check-ins on my blog. If you read those posts, you might notice a lot of what sound like rationalizations or excuses. I’m busy with Real Life. I’m not writing a lot but it’s quality over quantity. Renovations also relate to my goal of “making space”.

But all of that is deliberate.

You see, I tend to be very hard on myself. There’s a little voice in my head that says I’m not working hard enough, I should be doing more, that story I’m working on sucks, look at how much those people on Twitter are writing, I only work 40 hours a week so there’s no reason I can’t write 10 hours a week, what the hell am I doing on the Internet, etc., etc. (And that’s just the parts that relate to writing.)

To be honest, I’ve struggled for a long time with this voice. It seeps into all aspects of life. It can find so many ways to say “You suck. You’re not good enough — you’re not like those other people — and you never will be.” And that’s not motivating; it’s paralyzing.

Even now as I type, I don’t want to write too much about it because I’m afraid to give it free rein, to let it gain a toehold in my mind.

Check out the rest of my post to find out how I’m fighting back. And please do leave a comment — I’d love to hear how you fight back, too.

ROW80 stats: only half an hour so far this week, as renovations are still eating my life. But I have high hopes for getting more words down on Thursday night and Saturday.



9 responses to “Cruel Self-Talk and ROW80 Check-In

  1. I have that little voice too and I hate it! Glad to see you are fighting back against it.

  2. Hang in there! We all have to deal with that voice and I guess some do it better than others. (I don’t have a magic voice-wrangling technique but I just wanted to say go wrangle!)

  3. Keep going, Siri. Energy and life events wax and wane. You are doing the very best you can at this point in your life!

  4. Kathy – Thank you! I’m (selfishly) glad I’m not the only one.

    Bronwyn – Thanks for the cheerleading!

    Julie – The problem is that there’s *always* something in the way. Sooner or later, I’ve got to choose to make writing a priority, if it’s really what I want. In the meantime I’ll just keep inching along….

  5. A tough inner critic can certainly make things more difficult, but it seems to be something a voice we can tame.

    I don’t know enough about your struggle to know if this would be relevant or helpful, but there’s a good book out there called ‘The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear’ by Ralph Keyes. It was helpful for me to discover that some great writers have endured anxiety and self-doubt in order to produce their work.

  6. “There’s a little voice in my head that says I’m not working hard enough, I should be doing more…” – hurrah! I’m not alone! Not only are you suffering just as I am, but I can see from your comments there are many people dealing with that ‘voice’ too.

    I too am locked in fierce combat with mine, I’ve just not managed to over power him.

  7. Yesterday I watched a TED talk by Brene Brown on the power of shame and vulnerability, which was a pretty illuminating way of framing that little voice. What I took from her talk was that the little voice comes out of shame from past failures and fear of future ones, and that it’s the process of opening up, making ourselves vulnerable, that allows for creativity to happen. Okay, that’s probably a lousy distillation of her message, but the TED talks might be worth checking out.

  8. Here’s a link…well worth watching….and now I’ll get off my soapbox 🙂

  9. Mike — Thanks for the sympathy and the recommendation!

    Callie — Good luck in your struggle. It’s clear that there are many walking with us. 🙂

    Liv — Sounds like a great video! I’m having Internet problems so will have to wait to watch it, but I look forward to it. Thank you.

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