(Transcript) – How to handle your own inner critic in your writing

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Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) : Welcome to the replay. If you want to know more about how to handle your own inner critic – and we’ve ALL got the inner critic – in your writing, stick around. That’s what we’re talking about today. So welcome as yáll are joining, while I look at my notes. Thank you for the hearts. If you are watching on the replay you can tap hearts and join in on the fun, and if you are watching live on the web hop on the app. It’s a lot more fun when you guys are in the room. I can CHAT with you. You can thrown down hearts [to] let me know that you’re there, which is FUN for me. So welcome. As yáll are hopping in the room – I saw Jessica and Kesha. There’s Ayesha…

 

Jessica Russell ( https://twitter.com/Jess_JRussell )  Is that time “I'm old” bending over sound? Lol.

 

Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … [Jessica] says, “Is that time I’m bending over…” [laughter] … I know. I am. Well, I find [that] I have not been exercising as much as I would like, or need, to. And I [am either] lifting kids. or at my desk. So this is like a bad spectrum to be on [laughter]. I need exercise in the middle. When I don’t have the exercise in the middle I get really sore.

 

Darnell Cureton ( https://twitter.com/DarnellCureton ) : Hello.

 

Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  …Hey Darnell! You’ve got a new handle. I like it. It’s your actual NAME. Thank you [laughter] … Yes, so I need to learn to stretch, or something. more, or sit on one of those exercise balls, or something. But yes, that was my, “”I’m old and sore” bending over noises [laughter].

 

Welcome guys. Okay. So you know the drill. If you like what we’re talking about, you tap hearts and let me know that you’re there… Hey Ayesha… and that you’re engaged with the content. If you are NOT already following me, hit the “Peri Buddy” down there [to] change that plus to a check, and [to] let you know when I’m online [so that] you can catch the replay later.

 

And if you know someone else who is struggling with writing, or is [simply] a WRITER, share this broadcast, because EVERYONE who’s a writer struggles with their inner critic every day [laughter]. It’s like the continual struggle of a writer. So if you know someone who is struggling, go ahead and share out. You can share to Periscope, Twitter, or Facebook, and that would be AMAZING. .. Oh, thanks Ayesha, for sharing on Twitter. I appreciate that…

 

Okay. So today we are talking about how to handle your own inner critic. This is a HUGE problem for really everyone who tries to do anything DIFFERENT in life. You know? It’s so easy to follow the normal rut in the road, but if you try to do something different – to blaze a new path, like writing a book – that inner critic is going to show up every day.

 

Jessica Russell ( https://twitter.com/Jess_JRussell ) : I tell my inner critic to sit down and shut up.

 

Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  …Jessica says, “I tell my inner critic to sit down and shut up.”… Nice. I like it [laughter]….  So I am Morgan Gist MacDonald. I’m a writing coach, editor, and author. I run my business and my blog out of http://www.paperravenbooks.com , and I take Scope Notes for you so you don’t have to. Everything that we talk about is going to be at this web [page] http://www.paperravenbooks.com/periscope You can always catch replays and transcripts and notes there. If you are a writer, and you Scope, you’ll notice [that] I use the [following] hashtag in the title :

 

#periscopewriters ( https://twitter.com/search?q=%23periscopewriters&src=typd )  

 

If you do a Scope, put that hashtag in so we can find and support it each other. We’re building a community, and it’s fun. So join us.

 

Okay. So how do we handle our own inner critic? The first thing you need to do is start being AWARE of the EMPOWERING voices, and the DISEMPOWERING voices. Because we have self-talk going on all the time inside of our head. Some of that self-talk IS empowering. Sometimes we ARE our own best cheerleader, [but other] times those voices are DISempowering. So what we’re going to get around to is basically [that] you have to make the CHOICE about WHICH VOICE you are going to LISTEN to.  

 

So, I’m in the SAME boat as YOU guys. Every single day I deal with my OWN inner voices. Sometimes I’m my own best cheerleader, right? I mean, I get up in the morning, I start my free writing or whatever, and I’m like, “What I’m writing is freaking AWESOME! It’s going to change lives, and I can feel the tide turning, and the waters are rising, and this is going to be amazing, and I can just feel that effervescent quality.” And that’s AMAZING. I LOVE that. BUT it can be two hours later, and suddenly I’m like “Debbie Downer”, like, “Man, no one is going to read my writing. This is terrible. It’s just a regurgitation of what other people have said. It’s not life-changing for anyone, and certainly not me. Ho… hum.“ [laughter] Right?

 

I mean, this is totally NORMAL. First I want to assure you that if you swing drastically [and] wildly from playing Journey’s “Don’t stop believing” in your head, to total “Debbie Downer” you’re a normal person [laughter]. So feel good about that. Don’t get extra down on yourself because you are down on yourself. Okay. Just recognize it, and say, “Okay. Yeah, this is normal [and] everyone goes through it.”

 

All right  So what we have to do is give ourselves a reality check and realize…

 

Jessica Russell ( https://twitter.com/Jess_JRussell ) : Lol! Quit reading my inner iPod.

 

Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … Jessica says, “Quit reading my inner iPod.” [laughter]… As Ayesha knows, I’m a big “Journey” follower…Okay. So, you get to CHOOSE which voice you’re going to believe. Recognize that BOTH voices are going to exist, possibly within minutes of each other, BUT those voices do not get to DICTATE what happens in your day. You are an agent of your own reality. You get to decide which voice you lend credence to, and which one you DON’T. But you have to be really CONSCIOUS about doing that.

 

So, which one do I choose to listen to? When I THINK about which one I’m going to listen to – because sometimes I don’t – I always, of course, go for the one that’s empowering; the one that’s going to encourage [me] to KEEP writing. Because that’s the only way your life is going to get better. That’s the only way your life is going to change. That’s the ONLY way you’re going to make an impact in the world. [That is,] if you keep writing.

 

And there are certain things that I use to change things up. There [are ways] in which the internal is influenced by the external, right? So what we do [in] our environment influences how we talk to ourselves. So start with some external stuff. As soon as you start to HEAR the “Debbie Downer” voice – the voice that says, “This writing is terrible. You’re never going to make an impact. Your life will never change. You’ll never change anyone else’s life.” [Just] seriously hit “PAUSE”. RECOGNIZE that that voice is there, and say, “Okay. that’s my negative voice. I really don’t want that voice to control what I’m going to do today.” So change it up. LIterally change your PHYSICAL body. Go for a walk. Clear your desk space. Go make a cup of coffee Take a nap [laughter]. I mean, sometimes a good SLEEP is enough to refresh and reenergize you. Even if it’s a 20 minute nap.

 

Put your work aside for a little while. Put the writing aside for a little while. Call someone who encourages you. I call my mom [laughter]. So literally TAKE CONTROL. When you hear that voice that starts to say, “This is not going to work. This is not worthwhile…” it is on YOU to interrupt that pattern, [and] to say, “No. I’m actually NOT going to listen to this.” And the best way to literally stop that [pattern] of thought is to change what you’re doing externally, and there’s something about changing your environment that also changes your thoughts.

 

And [the interesting thing is [that]] you’ll start to notice PATTERNS in which the negative voice starts to show up. So for me the negative voice always shows up when circumstances are completely AVOIDABLE. [For instance,] when I [forget] to eat breakfast [laughter]. When I’m not drinking enough water. When I’m not getting enough sleep. Like, these really basic things that, when I don’t do them to take care of my body, the negative thoughts just FLOOD in. [So] it’s like, “Duh? Half of these are avoidable if I would just TAKE CARE of myself.”     

 

[Well], that’s true, [but] it’s only HALF the battle. Even if you ARE taking care of yourself there is still entirely, likely, possible, [or] probable that these negative voices are going to creep in. So that’s when we have to start really changing up, and using your own AGENCY; your own ability to take control of your thoughts. Because here’s the thing [that] we don’t usually think about…. Thanks for the hearts. I think that’s Ayesha… Just in the same way that we train our bodies…

 

Jessica Russell ( https://twitter.com/Jess_JRussell ) : Sleep deprivation is dangerous.

 

Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  …. Oh, Jessica says [that] sleep deprivation is dangerous… So true. It’s LITERALLY dangerous – like physically  dangerous – and EMOTIONALLY dangerous. Like we can’t handle life when we’re sleep deprived… [irrelevant comment] … So as some of you know, I’m in Tae Kwon Do [laughter]. I’m an orange belt, which means I don’t fall over when I kick something. It’s one level above white belt, okay? My body is not INNATELY good at Tae Kwon Do. But I have FAITH that if I continue to TRAIN it, show up, be coached, [and] practice, that I will get into a better rhythm, and that it will become a more natural flow for my leg to get up and swing and kick in this pattern. Okay? So I’m creating PATTERNS of physical motions.

 

You can do the EXACT same thing with your thoughts. You are JUST as in control of your thoughts as you are in control of your BODY. So [let’s say you’re not good at running], but if you believe [and] get up and run every morning, you will be able at the end of the month to run 5k. If you believe that’s true about your BODY, the SAME is completely analogous about what is true about your mind. if you get up every day and CULTIVATE those positive thoughts, [and] STOP those disempowering thoughts, interrupt them, and cultivate empowering thoughts INSTEAD, you’ll get [into] a better pattern of being your best cheerleader. So it’s all about intentional training of your own thoughts, and truly believing that you CAN control your own thought patterns if you start to take hold of them.

 

So my challenge for you today is to notice, AT LEAST one time today, when you hear that “Debbie Downer” inner critic telling you that your writing is not good, or worthwhile, or life-changing for anyone – pause. Literally STOP, acknowledge it, take a deep breath, and ask yourself , “What am I going to do to interrupt this pattern?” I recommend something physical, especially at first. Get up, make a cup of coffee, take a nap, [or] take a walk – whatever you need to do to INTERRUPT that thought, and then cultivate an EMPOWERING thought. I think [that] once you really get the rhythm of your own thought pattern you don’t ALWAYS need to PHYSICALLY interrupt. You can just pause and say, “No. I don’t allow that thought to have control over me.” Then you get better at being able to flip that switch – to flip that script. That’s really what it is. Your thoughts tend to get in a rut, or pattern, and it’s very easy for them to go down the deep, dark hole of [the] inner critic. But as you start to forge this NEW path it will become easier and easier for your thoughts to go down the path of encouragement.

 

So that’s what I would like for you guys to do today. At least ONE point in your day, when you think a negative, critical thought, STOP IT. Do whatever you need to do to turn it around. So I hope that’s helpful to for you. And also just be kind and compassionate to yourself, because we ALL have the inner critic, and it’s just something that as writers and artists we’re going to struggle with, [but] that’s OKAY. As long as we get a little bit better [every day], then we’re doing all that we can do.

 

Alrighty guys. That’s my message for you today. As you know, if you want to catch notes or other episodes [you can find them at] http://www.paperravenbooks.com/periscope . And I [also] have a freebie for you guys.

 

Jessica Russell ( https://twitter.com/Jess_JRussell ) : Thank you. Good tips.

 

Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  .. Thanks Jessica… Okay. So if you did not catch last week I have a new freebie out that is “12 Easy Steps To Write An Ebook That Boosts Your Business And Builds Your Platform .” It’s like ALL of my best advice. I can’t even believe [that] I gave away this much advice [laughter]. Like as I read through – it was kind of scary  – I was like, “Okay. This is literally A LOT of good content.” Okay. but it’s at http://www.paperravenbooks.com/12steps ….

 

        

Jessica Russell ( https://twitter.com/Jess_JRussell ) :  I watched 7 mistakes that writers make last night.

 

Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  …Oh Jessica, you watched “The 7 Mistakes”? Awesome. That was a fun webinar.. I think I re-did it as a video.

 

Jenn Vazquez (https://twitter.com/jennvazquezfit ) : Just read it this morning! Good stuff! Thanks.

 

Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … You just read it this morning? Thanks Jenn…. Okay. But really, the “12 Steps” ebook is meant for you to take it, and to get an overall picture of what writing a book looks like, and then start to feel empowered to start writing. So thank you guys for the hearts. So go download that, and start writing your book.

 

Okay. I will catch you tomorrow. This week we’re going to be talking about beta readers, and editors, and feedback, and how to incorporate all of that. So it’s going to be a fun week. Alright, thanks.

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