Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lisa Regan--Sh*t My Inner Critic Says

Finding Claire Fletcher

Down on his luck, Detective Connor Parks takes solace in the arms of a woman he meets at a local bar, but in the morning, Claire Fletcher is gone, leaving behind clues to a decade-old mystery. Abducted at age fifteen, no one has heard from Claire Fletcher in ten years.  Until now.  Driven by an unsettling need to see Claire again, Connor sets out to solve the mystery of her disappearance once and for all.

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Today I have the honor of having Lisa Regan on my blog. She is amidst the launch of her book, Finding Claire Fletcher, but has graciously given herself over to do a guest post. Thanks Lisa! Now take it away . . . 


We all have an inner-critic. I think that is what Julie Cameron calls it in her book The Artist’s Way, which by the way is a fabulous book and well worth working through if you have the time and discipline. Anyway, your inner-critic is the voice in your head that says all the worst things at the absolute worst times. Your inner-critic is an eternal pessimist who believes only in doom, bad luck and catastrophe. Your inner-critic is an ugly, small, mean, petty little a-hole whose mission in life is to demoralize you and reduce you to tears at every turn. Your inner-critic has precisely zero faith in you and your abilities. Your inner-critic loves to kick you while you’re down. 

Here is an example of sh*t my inner-critic says: 

“That is the worst piece of writing anyone has produced in any language ever.” 

“You’re going to put that scene THERE?” 

“Your idea is crap. Your writing is crap.” 

“Your book makes no sense. You couldn’t string together a viable plot if your life depended on it.” 

“You need to give up. You suck. Your book sucks. Your writing sucks.” 

“You have no chance of being published ever.” 

“No one in their right mind would enjoy this.” 

“Your characters are flat and one-dimensional.” 

“Your characters are stupid and no reader will ever relate to them.” 

“That’s been done about a million times.” 

“Ugh. Just stop now. Stop writing. Now. I can’t take this suck-fest a minute longer.” 

“Mwah hah hah. That was atrocious! Good thing you kept your day job.” 

“Your book is too long.” 

“Your book is too short.” 

“Your query blows.” 

“You’ll never get an agent.” 

“You don’t have enough ‘credentials’.” 

“You’re worthless. Your writing is worthless.” 

“Why are you still writing stuff? You still don’t get it after all these years? You cannot write! You are the worst.” 

“You’re not smart enough to write this book.” 

“You didn’t do enough research. In fact if you spent the rest of your natural life researching, you’d still not have done enough research.” 

“You could write a thousand books. None of them will be published.” 

“Ouch, that passage is awkward and wooden. What is this? The first grade? Why don’t you just put it down on paper in crayon?” 

“You can keep writing but you’re never going to get any better.” 

“For the love of all that is holy, no one is ever going to want to read this crap.” 

“Your formatting is wrong.” 

“You’re just plain wrong.” 

“That’s not realistic—even if it is fiction.” 

“Seriously, this is so bad it’s making me nauseous. Please. Put. The. Pen. Down.” 

“Revise all you want, this book is not going to suck any less.” 

“You have too many characters.” 

“You don’t have enough characters.” 

“This is too simplistic.” 

“This is too complex.” 

“This is boring. Wait, tell me again why you continue to write?” 

“This is too fast-paced. There is no depth.” 

“Your plot is too convoluted. Your subplots barely qualify as subplots. Did I mention that you suck?” 

“You’re a horrible writer.” 

“What’s that? Another rejection? Reeeally? Well what did you expect? You’re terrible. Get used to rejection because that is all you’ll ever see.” 

“This is embarrassing. I’m embarrassed to even be your inner-critic.” 

You have to learn to shut him/her down! It’s not easy. The slightest misstep and your inner-critic thinks he/she has license to walk all over you immediately. They love to thumb their noses at you and yell, “I told you so!” Your inner-critic can turn you into a nervous wreck. You can ignore it. I’m sure many other writers—published and pre-published—have developed techniques for dealing with their inner-critics. 

For me, I let her have her five minutes. Right at the outset. I let her get it all out and then I say, “Are you done?” Because that’s all she gets. Five minutes. She can say whatever she wants for five minutes and then I’m finished listening to her. I’m moving on. Forging ahead. 

What does your inner-critic say and how do you shut him/her down?

Thank you, Lisa, for reminding us that even published authors have that relentless self-doubt monster to deal with too! Please go check out the . . .


As part of the Finding Claire Fletcher Blog Tour (12/6/12 through 12/21/12), Lisa Regan will be giving away the following items:

$25.00 Amazon Gift Card
1 signed copy of the paperback of Finding Claire Fletcher
1 e-book version of Finding Claire Fletcher

All you have to do is visit the Finding Claire Fletcher Blog Tour & Giveaway page on Lisa’s blog which you can find here and comment on that page letting Lisa know whose blog you’ve just come from.  Each commenter will be assigned a number and then the winners will be chosen using  Winners will be announced on 12/24/12!

Lisa Regan is a suspense novelist.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.  She is a member Sisters In Crime. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.  Her second novel, Aberration, is due out 6/6/13.