I am working on a second book at the moment, writing about yoga and other tenets of it, minor things that I have learned about in the past few years of my yogic journey. It is not a bestseller in my mind, because I am way too critical of anything and everything I do. Even if it helps a few more people to initiate yoga, I believe that the book will have served its purpose. But the reason I write this post today is to talk about the voice in our heads that censors us while we do anything creative.
It might be writing, painting, or playing music. Anything to do with the creative genius that is inside all of us, and this mini-critic comes piping up. You have heard the speech as much as I have, I’m sure. Things like, ‘You will never be a great writer’, ‘Everything you write is crap’, ‘Why do you even bother with this’, ‘You should give up right now, before you waste too much of your time’. I have included the less graphic ones in order to not disturb the audience, but you know what I’m talking about. You can substitute writing with anything else that you might be doing in your life, that requires you to put a little bit of yourself out there in front of an audience.
Even if the audience just includes your family or friends, there is always the fear of judgement and the inner critic comes censoring. I find that I usually write my best pieces after I wake up and meditate. After a good meditation, my mind has been given a good scrub. It is clear of doubts and anxiety at least for a few hours. I can sit down and write a good, first draft without any censorship or back-tracking. I have learnt that after a whole day of telling myself off in my head, my writing is at its worst. I second-guess every word I write, and I second-guess the reason I write.
I sometimes let the voice convince met that there are others out there who are sharing the messages of yoga, spirituality, meditation, minimalism and travel much better than I am. I should get away from blogging altogether. At that point, the loving, kind words of my readers, the likes and comments, come into play. I see that people like what I write and they are sincerely using it to better their thoughts and lives. That prods me to share more and go deeper to come with better blog posts. Thanking my readers, I quell my inner critic and continue writing.