Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Silence the censor

Every writer has gone through this. That voice, you know the one- THE VOICE. That says what you are writing is rubbish. The one that says you cant possibly be a REAL WRITER. It advises you to quit now while you're behind.  This writing business is hard, why not take up something less challenging, like neurosurgery?

We have all been there, in fact every time I face a blank page or screen somewhere in the background I hear my inner censor chuckle. He whispers what now? What will you dare to write? Its a very good question-that usually freezes me.

I'm here to inform you that there are ways around  your censor. No you cant silence him completely-I don't think that is possible or desirable. You can, however evict him out of your head-space for a short time, while you get to the business of writing.

One of the exercises that I find works is the morning pages (Thanks and credits to Julia Cameron for this exercise). Three pages of free writing about anything. You cant do them wrong, you just write three pages about anything. It serves the purpose of quieting your censor, because all of those thoughts were going to come up, anyway. Now that you have it out, your censor has no foothold. Also I have gotten some great ideas just from writing like this.

James Scott Bell suggests writing dialogue. This is a great exercise. You just write dialogue- go crazy, cut loose- let it take you wherever its going. The point is you are writing.

Some of us have rituals. A favorite pen or notebook. A special writing area. Lighting incense before during or after. Some require strong extra large doses of caffeine prepared in their favorite coffee house, or at home. Some require that the planets be in alignment. We all have our ways of doing this, the point is that it must be done in order for us to write.  Me, there are days I would love to take my censor out back, tie him to a post and flog him senseless. He is too wily to be caught so I shut him up instead.

Seems to be working so far. What methods do you use I would love to hear them.

writers write,

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