Friday, 17 March 2017

Writing MoJo March - dealing with a harsh Inner Critic

Today we were tasked with writing to our Inner Mentor about the problems we've experienced with our Inner Critic sabotaging our writing journey. Then we need to write the reply containing all the useful advice they would give to help.

Dear Inner Mentor,

As you know I've struggled to find and/or keep my writing mojo. There have been times when I have found the title 'writer' a difficult one to bear. Writer's seem to be different to me, they write everyday and never have moments when they can't string a sentence together. But writing is all I've ever really wanted to do and the only thing I thing I'm any good at.  
The hardest thing is when I look down at a sheet of paper or a computer screen and nothing comes. When I fight to get something out of my head and onto the screen and it just won't happen. How do I deal with that? It's so hard, it feels so lonely and yet I know it's something all writers have to deal with.
I worry about never being able to finish anything. I'm ok with short stories but longer pieces seem to run out of steam before they get near to completion. I'll never have anything that I can feel proud of at this rate. And don't even get me started on submitting, that's another area that needs attention. It's all about confidence and that is something I'm sadly lacking when it comes to my writing, as well as in general. 
So how do I deal with it? How do I make the leap from hobby writer to professional writer? And what do I do if it never happens? I need your help and sage advice.

Love from
Johanne, the limp writer.

Dear Johanne,

Oh dear, things do sound bad. No wonder you feel limp. But here's the thing: everyone feels that way sometimes. Yes, even big, successful writers like JK Rowling and Val McDirmid. They know how hard it is to sit at a desk and write, to force a story to behave, to create lively characters. It's part of the process of being a writer and every writer has to find their own particular way through. Some of the best advice I've come across is to write everyday, even if it's hard or seems to be poor quality. You can always delete it or scribble it out. But the mere fact that you're writing something can do wonders for your writing mojo.
As for whether you're good enough or not, that's a tricky one. Lack of confidence in your ability isn't uncommon and there's not really a sure fire way of solving that one. Maybe listen to what other writers are telling you about what you write. Fresh eyes usually see your work in an objective way so listen to them when they tell  you you've written a good piece. And remember what they said when you're doubting yourself.
Keep doing what you're doing, don't over analyse everything, write everyday and grab your courage in both hands and submit. The difference between the hobby writer and the professional is that the professional gets their writing out there and the hobby writer keeps their work safely under lock and key So keep writing and enjoy hearing the lovely things people say about your work.
You can do this!

Love from,
The wisest mentor you'll ever have.


  1. Brilliant, what a fab pep talk! Looks like MoJo March is going great guns :-)

    1. Thank you! It was an interesting couple of weeks.