My New Book

Inside Secrets to the Craft of Writing
A Personal Guide to Actualizing Your Potential as a Writer

I wrote this book for every person who has ever wanted to write. I believe writing can be taught and that if a person is drawn to write there is a reason and probably even a talent waiting to be developed. This book was created to help each writer find his or her hidden talent and gain the confidence and skill to express it.

An Excerpt from Inside Secrets from the Craft of Writing

Chapter 1
Some Thoughts on Fear or
Who am I to Write?

In my experience, most new writers, and often more seasoned ones, as well, continually struggle with the same question. “Who am I to write?” Different people will use different language to express it, but essentially the question is the same: Who am I to want to do this? What makes me feel like I could ever be a writer? I’m not that good anyway. Writing is what people who got good grades in English do. I hated writing essays in school. What’s the point? I’ll never make any money at it anyway. I’ll never be as good as X, or Y, or Z.
Every student who comes to me with this question gets a variation of the same answer: “Kill the inner critic!” Not because it is a rote answer, but because it is always the right answer for such questions. The inner critic is the nagging voice inside of you that tells you that you aren’t enough. I’m here to set the record straight. You are plenty and if there is a desire inside of you to write, then go for it. The inner critic is not real. It is an unfortunate aspect of self that most of us pick up at some point in our lives because of an experience we probably wish had never happened.

I assume my inner critic was born when I was somewhere between the age of six and seven. I had a teacher who was going through a bad divorce. When her ex-husband would push her over the edge, she would take it out on us kids. When she suspected one of her students of not having a clean enough desk, she would dump the desk on the floor in front of the entire class and make the child clean it up. The humiliation was enormous and somehow, in that dark second-grade classroom, I lost every bit of self-confidence I was born with when it was my turn to pick up the interior of my desk from the floor. It took a few minutes to destroy and more years than I like to admit to recreate and reclaim my self-confidence. I believe it was that day that my inner critic was born. Cleaning up the papers that had fallen out of my desk, I was convinced I was inferior to every other child in the room and that image stayed with me for a very long time.

My experience wasn’t unique. But that didn’t make it any less devastating. For most of us, on some level, an experience has occurred where an outside source told us at some point in our life, that we couldn’t do something, or that we simply weren’t enough. Too often these experiences stay with us and haunt us forever.

Another vivid childhood memory I attribute to building my inner critic was when I was six and announced to a relative that I wanted to be a ballet dancer. She looked at me and said, “You’ll never be thin enough.” And with that one comment my career was over — and I was only six. If you are a person who struggles with self-doubt, feeling entitled to write, or has ever asked any of the above questions, take a moment and think about where this struggle comes from.

I have come to understand that more often than not, writers who struggle with these issues have often had some experience in childhood with a peer, an adult, or often a parent that is still being reenacted in the writer’s head to this very day, though probably in a subconscious manner.

The inner critic doesn’t have to continue
to be a part of your life.

Today is the day to change all of that.


Try This …

Start out by telling your inner critic that it’s time to go.

First …

Try to pinpoint an experience in your life where someone told you that you couldn’t do something — an experience that until this day you remember and carry with you.

Now …

Jot down everything you remember of the experience. What were you wearing? How old were you? Who were the characters in the scene? What was said? How did you react?

Finally …

Rewrite the scene the way you would have liked it to occur. Remember, this is your story, and you can rewrite it and edit it to your heart's content. Rewrite this scene, and create it the way you would have wanted to experience it then or want to experience it now.

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