Wednesday, 30 September 2009

My critic is a Tiger.

We are all plagued by our Inner Critic, sitting on our shoulders, telling us we're writing rubbish. But in a workshop with River Wolton a few years ago, I learned some useful tips on challenging my Inner Critic.

River encouraged us to visualise our critic and mine is a Tiger.

I wrote a piece imagining my tiger prowling the edge of my garden, while I sit in my study trying to write. It is dark and there is only the pool of light from my table lamp. Outside I can see the tiger padding up and down, jaws drooling,until suddenly he is in the room and my pen is frozen on my pad.

But is the Inner Critic only there stop us from writing with freedom and the wind in our hair? Or does my tiger have a useful role to play?
The answer is, Yes of course. I can dismiss my tiger when he is blocking my way forward. But I can also invite him in when I need his sensible thoughts on my work.
The important thing is to keep control. The tiger remains outside my garden fence until I decide to let him in, until I am ready. And not before.


  1. What an interesting post! I was watching a reality design show the other night. It wasn't very good, but the host was a fascinatingly critical Frenchman, and I kept thinking, he would really scare me into working hard. I wondered if I should visualize him now and then.
    How did you end up deciding on a tiger?

  2. Hello Anne, I think there was something about the way a tiger prowls when its tracking its prey that appealed to me and once I had the idea in my head it just took off, the garden fence, the pool of light, the tiger in the study. Glad you found this interesting.


Looking forward to reading your comment.