Wednesday, August 27, 2014

In Which the Inner Critic Tells Me I Need to Stop Being So Silly

I'm in a writing rut, I think.

Not an act-of-writing rut. That's the same as it has been for years now: I write when I have to, when the words come to me (and sometimes when I just want them to come). This is different. It's more of a subject, or possibly style, rut.

This epiphany came to me while I was reading a book by an author who shall remain nameless. The main character in his book--a first-person narrator--read, to me, as the same kind of character this author had written several times before. On the one hand, this is somewhat comforting: recognizing his voice, his characters. On the other, it alarmed me that such a hard-working dude could fall into a rut.

As for myself, every poem I've written in the past year or so feels very angsty, schlocky, sophomoric to me. Sometimes I wonder if I'm 20 years old again, funneling my naïveté and absurd assuredness into my pen and then onto the page. This is, perhaps, a function of my inner critic, who swears to me that nothing I write will ever be good enough.

How, then, to shut out that voice? It's useful when it comes time to edit, sure, but when you're writing? Punch that bastard in the face, lest he/she should prevent you from even opening your notebook. And tell him/her I said hi!


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