The Critic

A critic is someone who enters the battlefield after the war is over and shoots the wounded.

Murray Kempton

The hardest thing about creativity is learning to ignore the critic – whether it’s your own internal critic or the (imaginary) crowd you’re sure will tear your efforts apart. 

But, unless you are creating specifically for the critic (and if so, I question why you would willingly engage in such a masochistic act), pay them no mind.

It’s easy to criticize. It’s harder to create. 

Creativity isn’t a spectator sport.

If you aren’t willing to enter the battlefield and wrestle with the chaotic messiness of your own insecurity to create something in service of others, your opinion is about as useful as decaffeinated coffee (seriously, WHY does this even exist?).

Of course, this is all easier said than done. 

But if you imagine the critic as Murray Kempton describes, it frees you from the weight of their judgement (real or imagined). Only a sociopath would shoot the wounded. 

Why would anyone listen to what a heartless monster has to say anyway?

Your Head is a Big Fat Liar

It’s not good enough, will never be good enough.

Who are you, anyways? 

You’re not an expert. You know nothing.

Why would anyone listen to you about this?

The voice in your head

That’s just your head being a big fat liar (a bit overdramatic, if you ask me). It’s just doing what it can to protect you from danger.  

But, if you think about it, what’s really at stake? 

What if it fails (and it may fail)?

Have you never failed? Were you maimed by it? Eviscerated, perhaps? I doubt it even came close to such.

Instead, let’s treat our head like the big fat liar it is. Pay it no mind. Recognize that its lies are a sign to push through the doubt rather than stop.

I promise, it’s good enough. 

Now that we’ve cleared that up, get back to work. The world needs your talent and leadership now, more than ever.

Bonus! This post was part of a challenge with a friend and fellow blogger, Matt Fried, to write a post with the same title. Check out his version of “Your Head Is A Big Fat Liar” also published today on his blog, mattfried.co