Critique, Humor, Writing

A dialogue with my inner critic

We all have inner critics. Some manage them better than others do. All too often, I tremble under the tyranny of mine. She’s not cute and harmless. Not at all. Think She Devil, like this:

I’ll give you an example of how she works. A writer friend emailed me the other day to ask if I’d considered offering editing services to increase my income. She said, “Your writing is so precise and careful.” and indicated she felt I could be of benefit to other writers. All well and good, right?

The next day, while doing some mind-numbing work, I thought about the email again. Suddenly, my inner critic offered a different interpretation.

Inner Critic: Precise and careful, huh?

Me: Yeah, so?

Inner Critic: Sounds to me like she thinks your writing is a bore.

Me: No … I don’t think so.

Inner Critic: Textbooks are precise and careful.

Me: But … I’m pretty sure she meant that as a compliment.

Inner Critic: Ha!

Me: What did she mean, then?

Inner Critic: There’s an old saying: Those who can, write; those who can’t, edit.

In typical She Devil fashion, she poofed away, her cackle echoing in her wake, leaving me to question my worth as a writer … or an editor. She’s pure evil, is my inner critic. Next time she pops in, I’ll slap her with a wet fish.

24 thoughts on “A dialogue with my inner critic”

  1. Your train of thought sounds just like mine! Although recently I had someone tell me the editing in my book was completely awful, but it wasn’t my fault, it was my editor’s. I didn’t take that very well. Needless to say, it sparked quite the interesting discussion and did end well, for the most part. Still, it spurred on a conversation inside myself that required some wet fish…


    1. Are you talking about Monarch, Michelle? If so, I must have read a different version than your critic!

      I got an email from someone like that a few months ago, giving me a whole lecture on the use of contractions. This was after the person read only the preview first chapter of Brevity and totally overlooked that there might be a REASON why Jalal doesn’t use contractions in his speech.


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