I wrestle my Self-Editing Inner Critic to the carpet

“A-HA!!!”

Oh, it’s you, Self-Editing Inner Critic. Mind if I call you SEIC?

“Call me anything you like, loser.”

Oh, there ya go again. Why am I a loser NOW?

“Have you noticed what time it is?”

Lemme see … The computer says 10:18 a.m., so it must be 10:18.

“Yes, and have you looked at your blog yet this morning?”

As a matter of fact, I have. I’m a little disappointed that no one “Liked” yesterday’s post, I thought it was cute, but …

“And what was the key word you just used, about the post?”

Cute?

“NO! It’s YESTERDAY’S post, you foolish loser. Your streak is over, four days after you told everyone you’re going to be blogging every day from now on.”

Well, I didn’t say “from now on” specifically, but yes, I have been blogging every day since the first of August.

“And what does your little computer say today’s date is?”

Well, it’s November 13, all day.

“And where is the blog post for November 13, you pathetic loser who can’t keep a promise if your soul depended on it?”

Oh, SEIC, SEIC, SEIC, why do I ever listen to you anyway?

“I have saved you from yourself so many times I’ve lost count. All those times you were going to post something full of typos, newspaper columns and articles that made no sense until I helped you along, stories with plot holes so wide I drove a Mack truck through them — If you didn’t listen to me, you would be forgotten on the scrap heap of journalistic and literary history, or else remembered as the pathetic loser you are.”

That reminds me, have you been reading The Practice by Seth Godin along with me? It’s terrific so far. I like what he had to say about Imposter Syndrome.

“Of course you would, you miserable imposter who can’t write anything compelling to save your soul.”

You said that.

“I have to repeat myself! You never listen! You just roll around in a rut like —”

Yeah, yeah, yeah, like a miserable imposter who needs a Self-Editing Inner Critic to keep me on the straight and narrow.

“You DO listen! I’m shocked! shocked!”

No, you’re not. You know I listen to you. I listen to you so much I have dozens of unfinished projects to show for it. I listen to you so much, some days, that I have to sit down and type out a conversation with you in mid-morning so that I have something to post and don’t break the streak.

“WHAT?!?!”

Yep, if you were going to gloat and stick the streak in my face, you should have waited until midnight tonight, you stupid, stupid Self-Editing Inner Critic, because in a few minutes I’m going to post a 500-something-word blog post and I will have delivered a little something to the universe for 105 consecutive days.

“NOOO!”

And you know what, you pathetic little SEIC who has been fighting me every damn step of the way my whole writing life?

“No — No — Don’t do it —”

Right after I post this, I’m going to start work on tomorrow’s blog post, and the one after that …

“I was only joking! The streak isn’t that important to us. You should be working on your long-term projects, your novels, next week’s newspaper, maybe practice your guitar, you were just writing about playing your guitar again…”

I practiced my guitar for an hour, an hour ago. Where were you?

“It can’t be!”

Oh, not only can it be, but it is, it gloriously is. Now go back into your corner and repeat after me: I will not bother the boss while he’s creating. I will not bother the boss while he’s creating. I will not self-edit until he’s finished. I will not self-edit until he’s finished.

“You misspelled a word —”

What did I just saym SEIC? Hmm? What did I just say?

“You hit the M key instead of the comma —”

SHUT UP, SELF-EDITING INNER CRITIC!

“Ummm … yes, sir.”

Much better. I’m sorry to shout, but sometimes you can be SO annoying. Huh … Look at that: 700 words.

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, and an insistent cat. Author of How to Play a Blue Guitar, A Bridge at Crossroads, Refuse to be Afraid, and A Scream of Consciousness.

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