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Hiding From The Inner Critic – NaNoWriMo

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In the middle of the NaNoWriMo challenge.

In the middle of the NaNoWriMo challenge.

It’s day fourteen of thirty days for the Novel Writing Challenge. I have finished the first draft of a 51,000 word novel, the easiest part of the challenge for me. Now, I have begun to read what I have written, agonize over the messes, fill in the holes, and toss out the garbage.  I managed to hold to the process letting the words come out without letting an inner critic have his say. As the words came out, it was as if I was living the story being told. I felt the frustrations of the main character, his fears, his hopes and his adventures. At times I laughed, other times I shook my head at the absurd situations that the main character found himself at times, and I cried with him over losses and failures. There was no room for the inner critic in the telling of a story, or should I say, while the story told itself through my fingers on the keyboard.

But now? Well, now it becomes work. The magic that came with the telling of the tale has retreated for now. I am somehow to make something of this mass of words, taming it somehow so that others can hopefully one day, read it. This work has begun this morning. I have re-written one tiny scene just to get the feel of this process. But, no sooner had I re-written the scene when I found myself leaving the keyboard to go into the kitchen to put a half-cup of cold coffee into the microwave to warm up. While it was warming up, I was back at the keyboard checking out what was new on Twitter which then led me to browsing a few new-to-me websites. I didn’t hear the buzzer on the microwave telling me the coffee was warm.

As I looked up from the keyboard, I saw the sun peeking out from behind a sky mostly covered with clouds. I got up and looked at the wet pavement, then checked the thermometer to see the temperature – yes, it was just above freezing. I wandered back into the kitchen thinking I should have some coffee but couldn’t find my cup. Just as I was to take another cup out of the cupboard, I remembered about the coffee in the microwave which had turned cold. I put it back in for another shot of microwaves standing there until the buzzer went off, determined that this time I would get the coffee while it was hot. Then it was back to Twitter to check out the #NaNoWriMo hashtag to see what others were doing. It was there that I found the image for today’s post. I chuckled seeing it, thankful that I didn’t have these issues when it came to the novel-in-progress.

Since the pressure was off now that I had written the required number of words, I thought I might as well re-connect here and bring the image here to share with you. So here it is, three hours since my last words were written in the process of cleaning up the messes in the novel. Somehow, I have to get my act together and get back to that task and face the inner critic that has a few choice words for me.



Written by Robert G. Longpré

November 14, 2013 at 10:39 am

Posted in Jungian Psychology

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3 Responses

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  1. Thanks Robert; The piece inspires one to continue to seek out the dragons. To read of another out there, if not slaying these critters, these green scaled inner critics, that warrior of the keyboard manages to carry the creative torch into darkest lair. Thank you again.

    Russo Lewis

    November 14, 2013 at 9:28 pm

  2. I think it would be simultaneously splendid and sordid trying to write in a deadline. I admire your challenge.


    November 15, 2013 at 6:14 am

  3. Congratulations! It’s encouraging to hear of someone who’s reached the revision stage already! My inner critic has been quiet so far but I just know she’s waiting for me to hit word 50,000 so that she can come out and mess with me. ;.)

    Jadi Campbell

    November 17, 2013 at 6:52 am

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