Did you know the critical part of your self is never going away? In fact, to want to kill the critic off is just playing into the Critic's game because it is wanting to kill off a part of yourself. It reinforces the idea that something is wrong with you that needs to be fixed-- "Once I get this critic handled, THEN I'll be able to create."

Here is what works much, much better: accept the critic but always, always remember you--the adult, is in charge. Accept that the critic has gifts to share but he only gets to share them when you say so and even how you say so. Accept that we all contain light and shadow, and our full creative power means we have to listen to all the parts of ourselves, icky and angelic.

Fully acknowledging the critical parts of yourself is not the same as agreeing, entangling with, arguing with, or believing this part of yourself. The best three tools to be in dialogue with the critic are:

1) Tell the critic, "Thank you for sharing," when you do not currently need his input.

2) Boss the critic back during first drafts, getting the paint on the canvas, or designing the sweater, then invite the critic to be heard during editing, revising, during the times you need discernment.

3) Never let the critic have the last word. You the adult creator is always in charge.

It's very interesting to me that I had to take medication for 6 weeks (yesterday being exactly 6 weeks since my surgery) to keep my body from rejecting the "foreign" object in my body...that is, the stainless steel knee and ligaments and the connective cement. It makes me think of how often we reject our creative impulses...how something that will renew us comes right into our laps and we reject it, consciously or consciously. The medicine that I had to take had to be monitored carefully. I had to have bloodwork every week, and I had to monitor some of my foods because excess Vitamin K threw the dosage off. Each week, the dosage was tweaked to make sure that this medication, this tonic for bodily acceptance, was working properly. ACCEPTING a gift of renewal, it seems, is tough work...it needs monitoring, upkeep, attention, and the willingness to surrender to what pain can teach us. Just as that which our spiritual expansiveness requires from us.

She sits in the salon of the Mable Dodge Luhan house on the outskirts of Taos, New Mexico. Her hand moves across the page. The smell of currant scones drifts out from the kitchen. She sighs and tells me later, over dinner, that she has never had this much time to write in her life. It is both exhilarating and frightening. "I'm learning I don't like to write in solitude, I like to be around people. I'm learning I don't want to write six hours a day but three. I'm learning I want to write and also do other things in my life."

Money guru Suzie Orman claims we take care of our money the way we take care of ourselves. In my work as a creativity coach and my own experience of writing five books, essays, screenplays, and a TV script, I have found the same to be true: We take care of our creativity the way we take care of ourselves.

Six things I believe about writing:

If you put your bottom in the chair, you are a writer; it ain't about what people think.

Learn to surrender to the desire to create.

Learn to value your own opinion.

Learn to speak to yourself like someone you love.

Learn to separate out opinions from facts.

Learn to have faith.

"Why is it that I wanted to write and what was it that made me feel that way?" Allow, however, it is that you feel to pour out on to the paper before you.

Timed writing three minutes.

Done with lightness.

Ways to use: warm up, clear out head, generate ideas, generate content that you can then revise on computer, outline, go back into a piece and expand or generate new energy into a section.

An idea for a one week practice:
Go back to this first session then pick from any number of questions that you could ask of your original writer, like: Why is it that I want to write? What it is that I really want to write? What is it that has held me back from writing as I would like to? What can I do to change the destiny of my writing?

Letters between Jung and Freud: Watcher at the gate and he keeps them from their genius, the place in themselves that wants to speak. They agreed to make monstrous clay heads and when they wrote about whatever was meaningful to them, they would turn them to the wall, actively turn the Watcher away.

Writing practice: If I turn my Watcher to the wall then...

Author's Bio: 

Jennifer Louden is the best-selling author of five books, including the classic, The Woman’s Comfort Book. She is also the creator of http://www.comfortqueen.com, a frequent lecturer on creativity and self-care, and a creativity and writing mentor.