How to shut down your inner editor

It can blare out while you’re working on any piece, anytime, anywhere. You’re writing along like butter, and suddenly a stomach-wrenching jolt slams you up against a concrete wall. That thunderous voice in your head rebukes: “THAT’S THE WORST, MOST HORRIBLE, STUPID PHRASE SINCE . . . .” And you’re paralyzed.

Take heart. Such a message doesn’t have to plunge you into a full block. Recognize it for what it is—your ever-present inner editor, often old programming, maybe residue of parental strictures, telling you that you shouldn’t be writing, you’ll never be a writer, and you might as well go sell burner phones (if that’s not your day job already).

2020 Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) is coming soon!

Every November, the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA) joins with academic authors around the world to recognize and promote the month-long academic write-a-thon event, Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo). Started in 2011, this event encourages academic authors to focus on daily writing habits that move their projects closer to completion.

For the past three years, TAA has expanded their bi-weekly discussions to host weekly TweetChat events at the Twitter hashtag, #AcWriChat during the month of November. 

Are you good enough?

We all have a little voice inside our head. Sometimes it is a coach, or a bully, or a nag, or a guide. The voice can be the driving force behind some of our decisions, fortunately or unfortunately. It can guide relationships, career choices, and inevitably, our writing.

Writing, editing, and researching are solitary pursuits by nature. They can be driven forward by passion and curiosity, or promoted by achieving greater heights. But they can also be way laid by self-doubt.

Why success is not enough

Are you successful? What does success look like? Is it a specific number of published works? Is it a certain amount of annual royalties? Is it the completion of a degree or the achievement of a specific title or position? How do you define success?

Now that you have a clear image of success in your mind, ask yourself, is success the goal? Will those checkmarks of achievement satisfy your pursuit of happiness and meaning or are they merely stepping stones to something more?

Don’t get me wrong, I want to be successful – and you should too – but success is not enough.

“Write Every Day!” Is it realistic?

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