A couple of weeks back I identified an inner critic… For the purposes of this post, her name is L and she has a rainbow assortment of My Little Ponies… Let me explain…

In writing…

If you’ve recently read my blog, you’ll know that for a couple of months now, I’ve been writing ‘Morning Pages’. This is stream of consciousness style writing each morning, done shortly after waking… The ‘Morning Pages’ method is advocated by Julia Cameron and has the aim of kick-starting creativity, amongst other good things.

In this interview ‘How to Use Morning Pages to find your purpose, path and direction’, Julia Cameron describes how it is important to ‘take our shadow out for coffee’, to even give it the floor and let it have a voice. The idea being, that in doing so, we can see the inner critic for what it is and perhaps identify its source. Essentially, we bring our shadow into the light and it dissipates. Whereas in the dark it grew. Perhaps we thought we had put it into a box, but it found a way to prey on us… In other words, you could say we write out the negative thoughts.

Beyond the shadows.

A Mean Girl…

This inner critic of mine is seemingly malicious. She is certainly unkind and tells me that I’m not worthy. Did she grow from a chance encounter with an unhappy girl* not long after I started Junior School? …’Twas a warm summer’s day of faded and dreamy light… A group of admiring girls surrounded L, who had her extensive collection of My Little Ponies around her and was grooming them with a little plastic comb. L herself, had a long mane of silken dark-brown hair. I told her that I liked her My Little Ponies, she looked at me sullenly and replied ‘Well, I don’t like you.”. That was the first and last time we spoke. Thank my lucky stars, I’ve avoided mean girls ever since.

An exception is that I do sometimes allow that girl into my morning pages, sometimes just the first moody paragraph… She has the floor for a short while, I see her weakness and then she leaves of her own accord… Positivity takes her place.

river,light,inner-critic

Picture by Jen Stone. Dreamy light…

 

* Of course, I cannot be sure that my ‘mean girl’ inner critic did develop from my run-in with L. Yet when this character appeared in my writing, I felt that it was like L, or at least that L could represent it. Julia Cameron talks about mocking your inner critic, though it is hard to do that with L, she just seems a bit sad really… And daft…