A bout with my Inner Critic

It occurs to me that what I have is writer’s block. I’m mildly offended by this as I know, I goddamn know, that you just have to keep writing. But the truth is, I haven’t been, not really, and I spent the past few days in a masturbatory orgy of procrastination and self-pity. I loathe myself for being so gullible. I’m a shill to the con-artist that is my Inner Critic. Again.

I’m nearly there you see. I am literally hours ready from having my treatment ready to send off the the producer who asked me to send it to him. It is already taking longer than I planned; I should have sent it weeks ago. I hope it’s not too late.

The delay is all part of the self-sabotage, I know. There’s no official deadline for me to submit by but obviously the sooner I get it there the more likely he is to remember the pitch. I get that. So why am I fucking around?

It’s true there was more work to do than I thought but I squander time. I watched the two new episodes of The Killing III already. It’s only Tuesday!

If I don’t work on it, it and I can never be judged not good enough, see? That’s the trick my Inner Critic plays, every time. But, goddammit, she is crafty. She’s cunning like a fox.

So I find excuses not do the work I need to do, not to finish. Like writing this blog for instance (inner monologue: writing for the blog is an acceptable alternative to working on the treatment because it is about writing, and involves writing, so really you’re still writing so it’s not).

I was struggling with the treatment, for no other reason than screenwriting is HARD, that is true. But I was resisting her whining nags. She really got her teeth stuck in when I started reading the draft of my novel. I was delaying that, too. Partly for the reason I told people ie the screenplay is very technical and I wanted to get it fully plotted before I confused myself working on two projects at once. If I’m honest, the other reason was because I was scared that it wouldn’t be any good.

But, in an effort to avoid the treatment, I convinced myself that reading my novel draft is an acceptable alternative to working on the treatment (because it is my writing, so really when I’m reading I’m still writing) and that I’m close enough to the end of the treatment not worry about losing the plot. So I started reading the draft. And I have to face the fact it’s not as good as I want.

There, I said it.

It’s not that it’s bad. Some bits are really pretty good. But some bits are dull. And I’ve already found one major flaw and I’m only on chapter 3.

I want it to be better.

I know the only way to make it better is to work on it. That’s the thing I find most challenging about writing. It’s all down to me. I am the sole judge of the quality. Only I know when it’s right and when it still needs work. And when it’s not good enough it is up to me to figure out what’s wrong and find a way to make it work. I must have the confidence that I can do all of those things.  And I need time, a lot of time because it turns out that’s what it takes, time and application, and I’m angry at myself for wasting the time that I have.

But I see you now, inner critic, slavering over my crisis of confidence like some fetid beast. And now I see you, I’m bringing out the big guns to shoot you down. I’m taking a leaf out of Jurgen Wolff’s book (no, really…the alter-ego strategy) and putting my Inner Ripley in charge. Gonna bat that shit into outer space. Yeah!

Why am I still here?

One thought on “A bout with my Inner Critic

  1. Just because I ‘liked’ this doesn’t mean I condone its use as procrastination. Do the writing that really brings you alive – the stuff that keeps you in a holding pattern is only for times when there isn’t other stuff waiting to be done!!! (I’m trying Tough Love.)


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