A Non-Crisis of Confidence (Internal Critic Part 2)

 

2.'Meat For The Cheshire'--Cat Fink
Meat for the Cheshire

Guess what? My internal critic is back. Yes, she’s back, rather like the Terminator but not half so interesting.

I should say, she is trying to come back. I am not letting her. There is choice involved here, and I am using it. The word to my internal critic is NO.

The thing about my internal critic is she tries to make me feel I have no power and no choice. She tells me how badly I am doing, how I don’t possess the skills or experience I need. How what I am creating is all wrong. It is ugly, or stupid, or been done before or better by others. It’s not worth anyone’s time and I’m not worth anyone’s time. I’ll embarrass myself, family, friends.

Putting it plainly, my internal critic is a bitch.  No sugar-coating it.  A bitch who is attempting to keep me safe by stopping me from creating and from creating publicly. She is all fear. There is no love in anything she says. Safety is not the same as love.

What I have recently discovered is that my internal critic actually serves a purpose for me. When she shows up, I know I am not standing in my authentic self as artist, writer, creativity coach, blogger. She tells me when I am not claiming and using my power as the creator I am.

She tells me when I am working and creating from my head and not my heart. My best, strongest, most expansive creations come from my heart and love. Passion. My head is brilliant at organizing, planning, structure, logic, and detail. I need and treasure what it does, but what it does must be partnered by my heart and love.

I know why my internal critic has been especially active the last two weeks. I am moving into a big creation right now, taking a major dream and making it real and public. Something this important and integral to me feels both amazing and scary. My internal critic has noticed and turned up her volume in order to protect me from getting hurt.

She is trying to stop me.

Stopping? Not going to happen.

Not creating this dream would hurt me most.

So, my internal critic, I thank you for voicing your noisy, negative concern. Believe it or not, I love you for helping me see.

Here is how it will go. The creator in me feels and knows where I am going and what dream I am making real. The creator in me feels and knows the possibilities that are here shining before me. The creator in me knows my power and how to use it.

This is what I choose. My power is love. I make my dream real.

________________________

 

You will know from my posts that Julia Cameron, Natalie Goldberg, and Lynda Barry are my creativity heroes. In their books, they talk about the internal critic, how it affects them, struggling with it and what they do about it, how they move past her or him (or it) to get to their creating. Their stories have taught me how to work with my internal critic, and how to get past to where the creating is. If you are curious, my ‘Resources I Use’ page, https://catfinkknowtrustchoosecreate.com/resources-i-use/ ,  has more information about these awesome creators and their books.

Did. Saw. Heard. Drawn.

lyndabarry3I have made my way through Lynda Barry’s book Syllabus: Notes From An Accidental Professor.  Slow reading.  Taking in the content and structure of the pages, the balance and play of image, word, idea, question.  Seeing how her mind moves, and in turn noticing what my mind touches on.

On pages 61 to 63 Lynda talks about ‘Your Daily Diary’, an assignment she gives her students.  I’ve decided to do this for my blog post, and feel what this recording process feels like.

This is how I do it:  Today.  Seven things I did.  Seven things I saw.  Something I overheard someone say.  Draw a picture of something I saw.  All recorded on a single page divided into a grid of four spaces.  Do it fast.  Five minutes total time used to record my day.  I like the speed of this.  My internal critic can’t handle speedy creating, panics about getting run over, and hides somewhere out of the way.  Excellent.

Because I am doing this as my blog post, I’ll use a list rather than the grid.  A list of the sorts of things I notice in my life, what my mind touches.  Moments of being present in my day.  Here goes.

Continue reading “Did. Saw. Heard. Drawn.”

Lynda Barry’s books

I’ve added a new listing to my Resources page:lyndabarry1

Lynda Barry Books ‘What It Is’, ‘Syllabus’, ‘One Hundred Demons’, ‘Picture This’.  The creative process through image and word combined.  I love the questions she asks.

I’ve become a Lynda Barry fan.  I read her books slowly.  There is a lot going on and I want to catch all of it.  I love how her mind moves around the creative process, asking it questions, testing out answers.  Her books invite me to play in the thousand thousand possibilities of creating.  I am a kid again when I dive into one of her books.  How cool is that!

lyndabarry2I read her books with my sketchbook beside me.  I always come away with ideas for my own work, and questions about my writing and drawing process.  I know from experience to write down what comes to me, so that I have it to hand tomorrow, or next month, or next year when I need it.lyndabarry4

Lynda’s books give permission by example, to play and create, each in our own particular way.  Did she intend that?  I don’t know, but this is the effect her books have on me–FREEDOM!  I am already playing and creating in my own way, and she invites me to explore farther and deeper, see what else I can make with my heart and head and hands.

lyndabarry3The book I am reading right now is ‘Syllabus: Notes From An Accidental Professor’.  This book is dense with image and word, pages from the classes she teaches, drawing and writing from her students.  So much to take in and learn here, to experiment with.

Thank you, Professor Lynda!