I’m trying to live joyfully
But today that is overshadowed by a little voice inside my head
You know the one…
As I prepare for a month of writing with NaNoWriMo, altschmerz arises in me, if that’s how John Koenig intended the word to be used. But I’m sure he won’t mind how I use it.
Back to my altschmerz…
Anxieties surface that I’ve been gnawing on for years
Anxieties that turn into fears
That hold me back
“Can I write this book…?”
“How impertinent of me to think that I’m a writer…”
“Who in the world would be interested in reading my story…”
Blah blah blah, you get the idea…
Altschmerz, altschmerz, altschmerz
This voice which seems to be getting louder as the day passes is the voice of my self-protecting ego, of my inner critic… Chris Baty describes this perfectly:
“The doubting, self-critical voice that we all inherited around puberty … the Inner Editor is a busybody and perfectionist, happiest when it’s tsk-taking our shortcomings and weaving our past blunders into a rich tapestry of personal failure.” [Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo in No Plot No Problem]
The inner critic’s November Spa visit
This is precisely why the folk over at NaNoWriMo, say that our “inner critic / censor” must be sent with great haste on a month-long holiday during November. She must go to the Inner Critic’s Spa and sit there with all the other inner critics and bemoan how terrible all our work is. So long as we don’t have to hear their criticism and snide remarks for a whole month, we can succeed at NaNoWriMo and write with “exuberant imperfection.“
Once we have the first draft with all it’s grammatical errors, terrible word choices and clunky sentences, then all the inner critics can come home and help us whip our stories into shape.
But not yet.
First they must leave us alone. For 30 whole days.
I have just pressed Chris Baty’s “Take my Inner Editor” button and I’m hoping that she will go to the Spa tonight at midnight … and good riddance!
Do you have a strong inner critic. What’s the worst thing he/she has ever said to you? Or the worst fear she instills in you?