“If you hear a voice within you saying ‘You are not a painter,’ then by all means paint…and that voice will be silenced.” Vincent Van Gogh
What wonderful advice for us as writers as well. As creatives chasing our muses, we all have those pesky voices inside us telling us we can’t do what we want to do. Sometimes they’re quiet and subtle. Sometimes they’re noisy and rattle our mental furniture around. But quiet or loud, they have the same goal: they’re striving to keep us safe, to keep us in our comfort zone.
Playing it safe won’t get us where we want to go. If we want to improve our craft and share our stories, we need to take risks, get messy, make mistakes. All the things our inner critics hate and fear. To get our work out in the world, we need to quiet those inner critics of ours.
What to do? What to do? Valiant Vincent has the answer! If a voice inside says ‘You are not a painter,’ then by all means paint…and that voice will be silenced.” If a voice inside says ‘You are not a writer,’ then by all means write—and your inner critic will quit.
Taking action—that’s what chases away those Doubting Thomases in our head. Take action and they’ll melt away like morning mist.
When we sit down to write what we need to write whether we feel like it or not—we’re taking action!
When we wrestle with a thorny plot point that seems to stick out of our story and prick our plans—we’re taking action!
When we reshape a bit player in our story who’s clamoring for more air time and give him or her bigger moments—we’re taking action!
When we tackle our manuscript one more time and revise it until it sings and dances instead of sags and drags—we’re taking action!
Action quiets our inner critic. Action emboldens us to do more and say more and be more. Just remember ACE: Action Cures Everything! So stop reading, take action, and write on!
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