I am in the process of writing my first book, about being born into a grieving family. This is a very personal book, not only for myself, but also for my mother and the other families who came forth to share their stories (the picture below is a drawing of the artist’s interpretation of my brother as a little boy).
My initial goal was to have the rough draft of the manuscript done by the end of 2015, then some things changed in my professional life and my goal was extended. Now my goal is to have all three parts of the book in the hands of my beta readers (a handful of people I have selected to give me feedback on the “guts” of the book) by the end of March. This feedback is extremely important for me to make sure that this is a book people will want to spend their hard earned money on because they feel compelled to read it.
As a first time soon to be published author, I am jumping into the unknown and I have to admit, it is a wee bit nerve-wracking.
This book is going to be the platform to get my name out there as a life coach, a light coach, and a transformational coach… someone you can call on to help you make positive changes in your life… someone you can call on to help you deal with your grief… or someone you can call on to help you embrace your light and life purpose.
A little over a week ago, I sent out Part One of my manuscript to my beta readers and it was a feeling of terror! I felt like I was standing in front of these people totally naked… totally naked with a spotlight directed on me, showing every blemish on my body…
Why was I so scared? Because this book is so personal… it is not just my story of growing up in a grieving home, but it is also very personal because it is my words… my writing style…what if my work sucked? What if there is no interest in the story? What if I fail?
I had a massive size INNER CRITIC, sitting on my shoulder and screaming in my ear “Who do you think you are? Seriously, you think you are a writer? You’re nuts! If you are a writer, why has it taken you so long to write a book? Do you really think anyone wants to hear your story?”
This voice in my ear was loud, obnoxious, and successfully made me question my abilities and who I was… my inner critic was a master at this stuff!
We all have inner critics… I guarantee you that some of the most successful, highly regarded people have inner critics. I am sure the Pope has an inner voice that sometimes tells him he is not so great… Leonardo DiCaprio most likely has heard his little critic hundreds, if not thousands of times, telling him he is not a talented actor. Even Jesus had an inner critic telling him he was not capable of following through on his life purpose of walking the path to his own death.
Inner critics can stop us in our tracks and derail us from achieving what is important to us if we allow ourselves to believe them. However, there are ways of removing the critic’s voice from our head in order to move forward:
- My best advice is to get a coach. Just because I am a life coach doesn’t mean I don’t need a life coach! I hired a coach who is perfect for me… who is helping me through the moments of insecurity so I can stand up straighter and more confident as I take action in getting my book to the published stage.
- Identify your critic. Whose voice is it in your ear? Who told you at one time you were not good enough… not smart enough… not pretty enough?
- Find an object that signifies that person whose voice you are hearing… or make a stick figure drawing of that person.
- Put the object or drawing lovingly away while you are working on the task at hand… tell your inner critic that it is not welcome and needs to stay in the drawer, under the rug, or wherever it can be ceremoniously placed to be moved out of your head.
It literally can take only a matter of a few minutes to identify and remove your critic’s voice from your ear and replace it with positive affirmations of who you really are… smart… beautiful… and talented.
I have begun to receive feedback from my beta readers … some of the comments are “is simply amazing… can’t tell you how much it spoke to me”, “reading and enthralled”, “beautifully written”.
My inner critic was wrong… I AM an author!
What is your inner critic telling you?
Pat Sheveland, RN, MCC, ACC
Author. Blogger. Life Coach. Intuitive Light Coach. Transformational Coach.
Mind-Body Medicine Practitioner.