Saturday, 8 November 2008

The Inner Critic and the Inner Editor

I gave a talk today to my class on the difference between the inner critic and the inner editor. As creatives we can often struggle with how listen to the 'constructive criticism' that will improve our work, while protecting ourselves from the harsh inner critic who can cause us to feel discouraged and defeated.

To help with this dilemma, I have tried to list some distinguishing features of both the inner editor and the inner critic. Sometimes just realising that they are not the same voice is a good start.
Be patient with yourself. It can take a while to tease these two voices apart.

Here are a few of the  differences:

The inner editor values your creative work. The editor wants to support and help your work.

The inner critic is not here for you. He doesn't really care about you or your work. The inner critic has his own agenda and it usually has to do with how he appears. The inner critic is not your friend.

The inner editor needs time to grow, learn, and mature. She often doesn't know a lot when you are just beginning your creative journey, but she is willing to learn.

The inner critic thinks he already knows everything and is eager to tell you where you are going wrong. 
He is not to be trusted in your creative work space.


luthien said...

hmmm... interesting zom. even more interesting is how you sex them :) just curious... why is the inner critic a masculine and the inner editor a feminine?

Zom said...

I was wondering who would notice (tee hee).

There are two answers to that question. The first is, that is the sex of the voices in my head and I am writing from my own experience.

The second answer is that I think it is interesting how "he" is just supposed to mean everybody. Personally, I don't feel included when writers use "he" to mean men and women. So, because of that I like to switch pronouns and see how that stirs things.

Thanks for the questions Luthien. :)

Connie said...

That is so true Zom!! So well put.

Funny...I thought the same thing as luthien. I found it interesting that you labeled the critic and editor as she...I would have thought of as "it"...but the "she"...really makes it more personal--even more real, in my opinion.

Peace & Love.

Connie said...

I totally had a brain freeze in writing my last comment and didn't add the she-he thing with the editor and critic.

Aghh..I'm sure you got my point.

Any me! I'll be happy to clarify!! Or maybe my editor can get in contact with you!

Peace & Love.