On Skittles and Writing – #reverb10

Skittles by Shari | Flickr

#reverb10 – December 2 – Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

I’m a paid communicator. I write poetry (betchy’all didn’t know that!). I journal. I write emails. I write ideas and brainstormings and game-plans. I write to-do lists on napkins. I write cards and letters to loved ones.

Writing is central to my daily life.

I recently wrote about the lack of structure and framework in my life. I’m compelled to create structure so I can establish better daily writing habits (using Buster Benson’s 750words.com, naturally).

But there’s one thing I do that steals all the sweet, rich oxygen from my writing. I do this thing daily. Lots of times throughout the day. And it leaves me gasping for creative air.

I listen to my harsh internal editor. And she’s loud, convincing and exceptionally critical.

And you know what I’m going to do to eliminate the life-sucking force of my internal editor?

I’m going to feed her Skittles.

My internal editor whispers:

“Now that’s a lame idea–don’t even write it down!”

BOR-ing. Try again.”

“That sentence/headline/paragraph isn’t perfect. Everything must be perfect the first time.”

And then, no words land on the page.

So, I’m feeding her Skittles to shut her up.
And by Skittles I mean I’m giving my internal editor sweet little rewards. Instead of reinforcing her negative feedback by listening to her, I’m going to tell her:

She’s doing a good job.

She’s improving.

She’s learning how to craft creative, juicy content.

  • Skittles! Thats IT! This is good stuff right here. THANK you!

    • Nooo…. thank YOU! Skittles for everyone!

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  • SamTheButcher

    Interesting. Just this morning I read the chapter in “The Wisdom of Solitude” titled “Fake Dream Craziness” where she talks about “The Judge” who sounds very similar to your editor. Ultimately, Jane notes that “She comes out of nowhere and she returns to nowhere, just like everything else.”

    Just like your editor. :)

    • Oooo. That’s a nuanced point. Y’know, sometimes I AM confident in my writing, other times not. But I feel like ultimately, I’m in control of it all (I durn well better be, right!??!). I will suppress The Judge. :D

      • SamTheButcher

        I’m pretty confident in my writing, which I suppose means that my editor is kind of spineless. ;)

        It’s funny, even the band I used to be in, the other singer/guitarist would wrack himself with doubt, but I never really felt that. I guess I put it out there, saying “Here’s my art. If you like it, great, if not, great.”

  • Doniree

    OH I LOVE THIS.

  • I’m so in love with this photo. And now wishing it wasn’t raining and I wasn’t in my p.j.s because I really want some Skittles RIGHT NOW!

    • I apologize for setting you up for temptation. ;)

  • It’s sort of like hugging your enemies. What’re they gonna do now, look around awkwardly and hope that nobody saw that happen?

  • Cheers to wonderful photographs, Skittles (the word could not have a better sound to it!) and silencing the negative feedback loop. And cheers to reverb10 for bringing me to this.

    • Skittles DOES just make the whole thing more fun, doesn’t it! Thrilled you took the time to read and comment, Roxanne – thank ya!

  • I’m right there with you, Cali. The one thing I’m eliminating from my writing? Second guessing (http://www.lifewithoutpants.com/reverb10/maybe-i-shouldnt-have-posted-this/). The internal editor, as you said, is loud and obnoxious. I’m forcing myself to shoot from the hip more often, write with emotion – with passion – even if I leave a few typos in there :) Cheers!

    • So funny that we were on similar trains of thought, Matt! (But no surprise.) I’ve thought a lot lately about your post “just hit publish” — and I’ve been paralyzed in my writing. Not so anymore. :)

  • yeah, internal “editors” (i might call them something else) can be bought with skittles. good trick to remember.

    • ^_^ And just WHAT might you call them, Jeanne?! ;)

  • Oh! This is so wonderful! I cannot bring myself to believe that any part of me is entirely evil even though that inner critic suuuure tests me! Thanks for setting a precedent–that even the mean parts of us are just a little hungry, just a little neglected and ignored and that even for our inner bitches, a little candy and affection can go a long way…

    • You know, I really appreciate your perspective. Perhaps it’s healthier not to bow to the cliche of the “inner critic” and instead focus on self-love—a self-love that doesn’t allow for any evil little shadow or corner inside me.

      Thanks, Lauren! Nice to e-meet ya. :)

  • Argh! It’s the worst, right? I LOVE this post – love the photos, love the honesty – so beautiful.

    • Thanks, Kathy! Truly appreciate you stopping by. :)

  • This is a great post and idea! Thanks for sharing. One thing I try to do is right after one of those little thoughts runs across your head just follow it with a big (internal and/or external) “DELETE!”
    Clears em up before they have a chance to accumulate :)

    • Ooooo – I LOVE the delete button idea! LOVE it.

  • I absolutely LOVE the notion of making friends with that durned ego!! I read another post from the twitter conversation in which a woman named her inner voice Binky, and said henceforth she was making friends with this Binky. Would that we could all show ours who is boss. :)

    The woman’s post: http://amyoscar.com/reverb10-challenge/making-things-happen/

    • Haha – love “Binky” — that makes it so much less…serious. Thank you so much for sharing (and taking the time to comment), Abby!