I am my biggest critic. If you peeped the heading of this blog then you should have seen that coming. Getting straight to the point, one of the reasons why I held off on my story–along with writer’s block–was that I felt it just wasn’t good enough.
I honestly was content with being the only person reading it. I didn’t think anyone gave a damn about it. Even if people gave a damn I didn’t think I would generate a following large enough that would be worth continuing for. Frankly, I began to feel like I was wasting my time.
While I’m being real, I thought this about the entire blog period. I especially did not expect any local support. As far as I saw, that support was reserved for musicians and self-proclaimed models. I never saw support for writers. Being bitter, I figured that it surely must have meant that people do not read.
Then I later realized it was a lack of interest. It wasn’t that people didn’t read, they just weren’t interested in reading certain things. If I spent my days writing gossip, which is the in thing now, I could have very well been the Wendy Williams of the Virgin Islands. Hated, but supported regardless because folks like drama.
But I digress.
Coming full circle, I began to think that at the end of the day it had to be me. My writing just wasn’t worth it. The story wasn’t worth it. I began to hate the story and then I kicked it into the closet and left it there along with the other three that I began but never finished. Maybe fiction wasn’t for me and I should stick to writing for news. Even there I began to think, “why am I doing this?” My peers don’t even read the newspaper!
Somewhere down the line, however, I learned that I couldn’t just stop writing. I loved writing. Writing was what I was born to do. I also could not become better at writing if I stopped. I needed people, no matter how small the amount, to read and provide constructive criticism in order to refine my skill.
So, I revived the story. It was also the result of some other things that I cannot disclose at this time, but mostly it was for that reason.
I also had to remind myself that I was doing this for me more than anyone else. I needed to write no matter who was reading. So, even if it’s one or two people, I’ll keep at it.
I’ll probably always remain highly critical of myself. Even with Artistic License to do away with the conventions of grammar, I will nit-pick at it and even condemn elements in the story for no good reason. But, self-criticism isn’t always a bad thing. Rather, I have to learn how to take self-criticism and turn it into a creative asset.
Self-criticism is part of what the mind does. Don’t ignore your inner censor. Listen, smile, and make peace with those thoughts.