Friday.  So many possibilities await.  What words will you write this weekend?  What ideas will you get down?  How much will get from your head onto the page or into the computer?

I had a writerly epiphany this week.  I was reading The Brief Wonderful Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.  The book is a Pulitzer prize winner; it probably deserves to be.  And yet, when I was done, I realized something.  If I’d written this particular novel, I’d be busy tearing it to shreds, thoroughly convinced that it was far from done.  If a writer friend had handed it to me as a manuscript, I would have said, “it’s brilliant, but… would you consider changing this, or adding this, this part seemed incomplete to me…”

My point being that I may, just possibly, be far too critical of anything that is in the process of development, my work and others, and I very much doubt that I’m the only one.

My challenge this weekend to all of you who are in various stages of the writing process, is to get your own personal critic under control.   I’m rather partial to Ann Lamott’s method of imagining all critical voices as mice, putting them in a jar with a tight fitting lid and turning off the volume.  What I usually do, though, is just treat my critic like one of my kids and ignore it, until the constant nagging makes me totally lose my cool, throw something, and walk away from writing for awhile. (No, I do not throw things at the kids.  I don’t.  Honest.)

So – this weekend I vow to experiment with better Critic Control Measures, as well as to keep on stringing scenes together and worry about tying it all together later.  What about the rest of you?

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