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Riding the Monster: Creativity & Internal Editors

Friends, do you know this monster?





It's the one that sneaks up behind you, a cold claw on your shoulder, hot breath in your ear, and hisses "You'll never sell a book. You're not creative enough. Your work isn't good enough. No agent wants you. You'll never write something great. Maybe you should do something else, like be a dentist or a jockey or sit in a cubicle all day. Everyone else is better than you, selling more than you, getting more attention than you, and doing Very Exciting Things...." It wraps its icy, scaly tail around your body, and pumps jealousy and envy in through your pores, slowly poisoning you to your friends' successes. It sinks its teeth into the meat of your sense of unworthiness, feeding on your Impostor Syndrome and uncertainty.

Here's the thing about this monster: It's a lot scarier up close than far away. When we pull away from its clutches, we see it's a sham. It only offers us a loop of self-defeat. It's a carousel to nowhere.


I've been wrestling this monster a lot lately, writhing in its grip. And when it's got you in its thrall, you are so focused on its words and your feelings that you forget that you can unhook yourself and step off the ride. The monster only has us because we listen to it--because we get caught up and strap ourselves in before realizing what we've done.


Are you riding with the monster right now? Unhook yourself. Stop listening. It doesn't get to tell you anything about your work, your worth, or where you are in your journey. Step off.