NoNoWriMo – Day 2
So, if we’re going to write daily for at least 15 minutes (and yes, the clock is ticking for me now) … it will be wise to look out for the internal editor, the nasty-ass voice in your head that tells you not to write this or that, or the one that stops you from finishing a sentence because you don’t have the perfect word or you don’t know how to spell or you have clearly constructed a run-on sentence (like now) and who is going to care about what you think anyway; do you really think your ideas are original and interesting?
One way to outwit your internal editor (critic/gremlin/judge/monkey mind/greek chorus/whatever you call it) is to make sure you know when it’s working/alive. And that’s usually … all the time. Yes, I believe that the internal editor is always there … hanging in the background trying to tell you how things should be done and how you should write (be) in order to get along and be accepted.
Or something like that.
(and yes: writing is a metaphor for being. when people say they can’t write because they don’t know what to say? i think they’re afraid of being seen. when they say they would like to write, but the don’t have time? they don’t make time for themselves. when they say they would like to write but they’re not creative? they don’t have faith in themselves. they don’t write well? variation on a theme of self-doubt.) (you get the picture)
So where was I? Oh, yeah … knowing that your internal editor is at work is a great thing. And you notice him/her/it when you call it out into the light.
One way to do that is to have a conversation with it on paper. Kinda like this:
Me: I want to write about writing, but I feel like it’s all been said before; there are others more educated, more well-known, and way more fabulous in the blogosphere than I who write about writing; who wants to listen to me?
Editor: You’re right. The people you look up to are the real the experts … what do you know, really?
Well, I know that I’ve been writing and using a writing practice since I was a kid – even before I understood the benefits intellectually; I just got it. And I’ve been giving workshops for over 10 years now. I have experience; I’ve been in the trenches.
Yeah, but why would anyone listen to you when they can read Ann Lamott or Natalie Goldberg or take classes with all the online writing gurus and groovy blog peeps?
Well, maybe they don’t know them, but they know me. And maybe I say it in a way that they can get it. Maybe I’m more accessible or something; maybe I’m their gateway writing teacher/encourager. Who knows? Maybe …
(see how that works?) (it’s working for me … already i’m feelin’ a little of that “take that you damn critics; you ain’t the boss of me!” in my bones …) (grrr!)
But if dialogue doesn’t work for you, you could dive right in and write about the stuff that scares you. Kinda like this:
Sometimes I’m scared by how much I want to do this – this writing teaching/coaching/workshop leading thing – full time again one day. I want to share it with cool people who get it and I want it to sustain me … but sometime I think I’m not smart enough or clever enough or funny/accessible/organized/disciplined enough to make it work beyond the part-time biz that it currently is. And sometimes I let you (you skanky, evil editor) tell me that I need to package it/me in a certain way or I won’t be accepted and I’ll be a failure and I’ll wind up a bag lady … unloved, pathetic and fulfilling every horrible fuck-up fantasy my family ever had about me.
(ooh, my, that evil editor is one nasty ass isn’t she?)
Yet, while I do this, I see the craziness of the editor, cause really … am I going to be a bag lady? Doubtful. Will I be a huge success? Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows? But when I write the worst of the fears, I see how completely driven they are by a warped perspective that doesn’t have much reality informing it. (bet that’ll work for you too …)
Finally, the thing that helps the most and makes it easier to notice the critic – to see when she is disguising herself as a helper (but i only want to protect you from yourself, she whispers as she tells you not to be so much yourself … to swear a little less, talk less about your spiritual perspective or to pretty everything up; to look for a better word than the one you used, or to stop short of having a real opinion …) … the only way to do that is to practice. Keep writing. Write through the voices in your head that restrain you. Write fast. Write often. Write without regard for the perfect word or punctuation (yes, if you want to publish you’ll need to think of that down the road, but not now…) … now, just write. Throw it down on the page and watch the magic happen.
Today’s springboard: Write through the editor. (or write about something that sprung to mind when you read the above …)
Let me know if you’re posting on your blog or if you’re just playing along quietly at home.