The War of Writing

In any act of creativity there is always a war going on. Many people attempting to create don’t get very far because they are unaware of this. Writers suffer from this war. In fact, all writers do.

This particular warfare is waged between the writer’s ears. It’s in the mind. It’s about which mental narratives she is tuning into at any given time. There are fundamentally two ‘voices’ that vie for the writer’s moment-by-moment belief in the act of writing: the Creator and the Critic. Commentators on this conflict use different labels. Some call them the right-brain and the left brain, or the Artist and the Judge.

But which of these voices is right? Which one should the writer listen to?

The war between the Creator and the Critic is between the writer's ears.

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Well, usually they both are right to some degree, but they are best listened to at different times in the process of writing.

For example, the Critic is essential before a piece is shared in public. But the Critic is less useful when in the act of drafting for the first time. The Critic can prevent or interrupt a sense of flow. In fact, if the Critic is the dominant voice in the writer’s head, then it can cause writer’s block. It has I’m sure prevented many potentially good writers ever attempting to develop their skill in any significant way. At worst, the Critic can begin to shape the writer’s identity in a very negative, limiting way.

However, the other voice, the Creator comes into its own when it comes to the matter of getting something down as a draft. But left to their own, in extremes, they will burden the world with poor writing. They will create a lot of incoherent ‘noise’, with the skill of writing hardly developed at all.

How do should we bring each of these voices into play at different times? Well, I have a free email series called, “How to Write a Book.” Subscribe below and I will share with you by email different ways of bringing each voice into play at the right time.

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