It’s late at night. You’re not hearing voices, per se, but there’s an intense battle between your inner critic and your ego. One voice rips apart a recent writing endeavor, while the other scuttles about, trying to paste the flesh of a good idea back onto its carcass. Are you crazy? I’m not ruling it out, but I get what’s going on; I do it too. So, let’s all take a breather and turn the internal commentary down. Screenwriting is hard enough without a nagging sense of doubt looming over every word you lay down.
Since the film industry doles out an inevitably large amount of rejection, you might as well be on your own side. In fact, you should be! Here are three steps to help silence your inner critic:
Ask yourself: Is negative criticism doing anything positive for you?
Is it proactive? Does being negative make you write more or less? Are you an overthinker? Investigate the line between constructive criticism and negative criticism. There’s a huge difference between being mean to yourself and being real with yourself.
Listen to your inner critic. Acknowledge it. And let it go.
Insecurity and uncertainty are common. It’s not unusual to question what you are doing, how you are doing it, and if you’re any good. You’re really not alone. Instead of letting that insecurity stop you, acknowledge it and accomplish your goals in spite of your fear. Listen to yourself like you would a good friend and encourage yourself to continue writing.
Every time you recognize that you are being negative, stop and say something positive.
- I can’t do this becomes I can do this. I am doing it.
- I suck becomes I’m growing and getting better with everything I write.
- Why even try? becomes I’m trying and learning new things.
And let me ask this one thing of you: value yourself and your ideas. As a writer, you are an imaginative and creative person. Let yourself create. Be kind to that creativity, and anyone, including your inner critic, can shove off if they’ve got a problem with your confidence.