Off with their heads – murdering those inner critics.

02 Oct

Whoever said that writing and illustrating for children was an easy and mellow occupation must have been madder than the Mad Hatter – sorry Dawne for using you as an example of nutty, whacko and a few cows short in the top paddock. This world of children’s literature is not about cute, fluffy bunny slippers and happy-go-lucky gnomes skipping in a meadow. For a more realistic image of what it is like, try imagining those bunnies with large, pointy teeth and ferocious appetites. Or gnomes with cleavers, pillaging and creating chaos. Facing that blank page can be terrifying.

The worst culprit for us creative folk in this genre is out inner critic. That horrid little part of our psyche that basically tells us, without hesitation, YOU STINK! This little demon has the ability to immobilise our creative flow and leave us blubbering in front of our computers. Inducing a “I can’t” psychosis – I can’t write, or I can’t draw, or I can’t do this.

Well the White Rabbit and Mad Hatter say enough playing nice, it’s time to get nasty and bite those critics back….HARD. For those of you who joined us on the BiPolar Express and enjoyed murdering our inner critics (in a most creative way I must add), you will be familiar with this concept of payback.

This little exercise is aimed at bumping off that inner critic and freeing your creativity. There are no limitations on how you would like to do the deed, in fact, the more imaginative, the better!  And I promise, we won’t tell anyone.


Relax for a moment. Close your eyes and allow yourself to hear your inner critic. Get a good sense of where it dwells, how it feels, how it makes you feel, how it looks. For the next 15 minutes we want you to use one of the murder weapons below and write or illustrate about silencing this inner critic, in the most creative way possible. There is no right or wrong way, so have some fun.

Murder weapon #1 An anchor

Murder weapon #2 A shoe

Murder weapon #3 A slice of pie

Murder weapon #4 A monkey and a piece of string


3 responses to “Off with their heads – murdering those inner critics.

  1. Lisa

    October 4, 2010 at 3:36 am

    Some would say this is a failure since she isn’t technically dead, but I say any writing is a VICTORY! Here is my stabbity-stabs at that wretched thief who steals my inspiration and murders my resolve…

    Useless! All you do is spend your time complaining about wasting your time complaining. Talk about a circle of redundancy. Circular reasoning…isn’t that what your favorite comic, Richard Jeni called it? To bad he took his own life. Some demons are bigger than your inner critic. And some voices should not be listened to.

    So how did this exercise in writing go so dark? Ah, don’t question the muse or the fingers or the stream on consciousness. Just type. Type about how you’d kill the critic inside you who keeps you from completing any project. .

    An anchor? Like strap it on and watch her sink to the bottom of the slush pile? Too heavy.

    A shoe? Maybe a swift kick in the behind to send her scurrying. Or stuffing it into her mouth so she’d stop whispering sweet distractions into your inner ear. Not sturdy enough.

    A slice of pie? Seriously?!? This idea just makes us both hungry and we’re heading for the kitchen. That one is absolutely no good.

    A monkey and a piece of string? A what….now here is a story. One perhaps my inner critic would actually let me finish, even if it means her own demise. So where does it begin?

    Well, first the monkey has got to get busy on the keyboard, while I sit here making Witch’s Brooms and Tea Cups. No, that’s not really using my own words. I mean if I let the monkey go at it, some form of Shakespeare is bound to emerge, and nobody needs that. Especially young adults. I mean they have enough trouble with the LOLs and OMGs without adding WHEREFOREs and PERCHANCEs.

    Besides that isn’t really killing the critic, it’s more like giving her free rein to criticize how I can’t even bump her off. Snotty bitch. I’ll show her. I’ll…hey, I didn’t know my inner critic liked football. Dang, why am I trying to write this on a Sunday night? Ugh, there she goes again!

    Like an anchor around my soul, or an ill-fitting shoe that constantly reminds me it just doesn’t fit. She’s winning for now, but not forever. I have a monkey and a string and they will eventually be her downfall. For now, we’re going to go have a slice of pie.

  2. White Rabbit

    October 4, 2010 at 10:09 am

    That’s the spirit Lisa! And can I have some pie too? I can’t wait to hear how that monkey does her in. 🙂

  3. Sarah

    February 14, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Oh my! How fun. I must come back and do this very soon. Can I murder my lack of time as well. 😉


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