Could you stay in a relationship with your lover if that person continually judged or criticized you all the time?
I sure wouldn’t.
So, why then would you expect to have a loving relationship with your Writer Within if you judged and criticized the output?
Don’t you enjoy being with a lover who laughs at your silly jokes, someone who accepts and appreciates everything about you?
In his or her presence you feel better about yourself.
Similarly, your Writer Within flourishes with your response, enjoyment, and acceptance of her. Your positive response will encourage more creative expression.
In my doctoral research on creativity, I discovered a common denominator in nearly all of the studies for fostering creativity: let go of judgment while you are in the creative flow.
Thanks to Dr. Roger Sperry, who won a Nobel Prize in 1981 for his earlier split-brain research, it is now generally known that the two hemispheres of our brain have different functions. The left brain is more dominant in speech, writing, critical analysis, whereas the right brain is dominant in visual and spatial skills. While we need our whole brain to fully function, in creative writing, it is important to engage the right brain first, then, edit from the left brain – later on.
Do not judge what your Writer Within is expressing because it will stop the flow of ideas; and according to creativity researchers such as Alex Osborn, who developed Brainstorming, the best ideas come last.
Dr. Sidney Parnes, from the Creativity Institute in Buffalo, concurred:
“Extended effort in producing ideas … tends to reward problem-solvers with a greater proportion of good ideas among the later ones on their lists [emphasis added].”
Thus, quantity actually produces quality.
As you write quickly, more ideas flow onto the page; as you have no time to judge, you by-pass your internal critic.
The greatest number of ideas usually leads to the most unusual ones, and uniqueness counts in your stories.
Readers want a twist in the plots, unexpected happenings, and delightful surprises because it enriches their reading experience of your work.
So, write fast and see what happens.
To really open this stream of ideas let go of judgment during that first draft, so your essays and poems evolve quicker, and your story or novel takes a whole unforeseen turn.
Trust it, and write swiftly.
Defer any judgment until much later when you’re editing and tightening the piece for presentation or publication.
Your Writer Within will enjoy the freedom to express more and you’ll probably surprise yourself with what appears on the page.
Ask what your Inner Writer would like to express, and then listen, without judgment.
Accept what comes onto the pages. This is what you wrote today, no matter what it is.
As your Writer Within “gets it” that you can actually smile at the scribbled words on your white pages, and that you appreciate her wisdom – as well as her foibles – your output will increase.
Play Me Muse
I push your greatness away sometimes
When I feel small and pretend to be big,
Bigger than you;
I ask dumb questions like,
Does this even matter?
What’s the point?
But when you hear me and answer,
I always know the truth
Even through my terror,
I feel the soft power in my belly
And my words and music flow out
Until I remember again
Who I really am.
— Dr. Melba Burns
Romance Your Writer Within
And Reawaken Your Passion to Write