NaNoWriMo Day 3: Some ground rules to banish my inner critic—Wow, this guy’s annoying!

Fodder production
Fodder production (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s not my intention to post every day of NaNoWriMo, but…

As long as I have these wandering thoughts, fodder for posts, I might as well use them.

Day 3. I’ve remained committed to the competition two days longer than last year! Already that’s success. Yesterday, I sat down for about an hour and brainstormed some scenes/chapters. This really activated my inner critic. Man, you should have heard some of the things he said to me.

What’s up with that? Maybe there’s some scientific research out there that can explain this flood of self doubt, but wow! Talk about knowing exactly which buttons to push. So I decided to establish some rules:

Rule 1: My first draft will be @#$!.

(It’s not going to be ground breaking, revolutionizing, or even mildly interesting to anyone, including me. Its primary purpose is its existence and the experience it will give me in completing it. I will still give it my all. I will still try my hardest. But I am a novice in this area. Mistakes will be made.)

Rule 2: I am NOT wasting my time.

(Even if my novel is complete @#$!, I am still exercising my brain. Whenever you begin a new exercise, your body revolts. “I can’t do this,” it says. “This is too hard.” That’s what my brain is doing. My inner critic is a lazy bastard and just wants to watch The Big Bang Theory and relax.)

Rule 3: Morning Pages are good. Do them this month.

(Some people can really upset you and when they do, they become great Morning Pages fodder. Delving deep into what exactly is going on and overanalyzing every part of it is best kept to morning pages. And the ideas and conclusions that result might find their way into the Ol’ novel. Pre typed. Bonus!)

Rule 4: If I have a “great idea” for a short story, it’s ok for me to take a break and work on that.

Rule 5: On work days, the NaNoWriMo writing has to be done in the morning before work. It doesn’t matter how unconscious I am at this time. This can be preceded by 15 to 20 minutes of cardio or weight lifting to help me re-enter.

Rule 6: Banish Negativity.

My own inner critic is negative enough. I don’t need any extra.

Rule 7: After November, I can take a break and read something interesting—by a real novelist. 🙂


2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Day 3: Some ground rules to banish my inner critic—Wow, this guy’s annoying!

  1. Great post. I’m doing much better this year, myself. And I had to lay ground rules, several of which are on your list. My must/inner critic’s name is the Evil Twin, and man is she nasty! Congrats, and good luck!


    1. How interesting. I thought about naming my critic too. I was unprepared for all its criticism. Yesterday, however, it seemed to be on a break. Maybe writing mean things about him (her?) got him to shut up. Good luck on your novel. Let me know how it goes!


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