Monday, February 29, 2016

Creativity takes Courage! (Day -1)


As I sat down to write this post today I received a visit from an old acquaintance. She doesn’t think much of me. In fact, she constantly highlights my weaknesses and criticizes me. For years I called her the Bad Momma Fairy because she was especially critical of my parenting. I envision her as this tiny but super fat fairy who likes to sit on my shoulder and whisper nasty comments in my ear.

I’ve grown more confident in my parenting but the bad fairy doesn’t want to leave. She enjoys torturing me, besides she’s lazy and doesn’t want to move. And she doesn’t have to. I recently provided her with a brand new red button to push labeled, “My writing.”

Brunhilda, as she calls herself now, no longer cares about my parenting. Nope. She’s moved on to despising my creative endeavors. Her voice oozes disdain while she critiques every word, every sentence I construct.

“Vhat a genius. Even vhen zuhd use ze vord “really” zeven times in vhan paragraph.”

“I hate you, Brunhilda. I really do”

I was relieved and saddened to discover I’m not the only one with an imaginary foe. Your foe may be called Inner Censor or Inner Critic, you may even have a pet name for yours like I do. Whatever it’s called this inner voice is a threat to our creativity and productivity. It also wears many faces.

Rosanne Bane, creativity coach and author, calls it the Saboteur and suggests it wears five different masks: the Attacker, the Enticer, the Protector, the Innocent, and the Unlucky.

The Attacker = the nagging, insulting, overcritical voice that says, “You are fooling yourself.”

The Enticer = tells you everything is going to work out great without you lifting a finger or experiencing any hardship. It entices you to passivity. Your work will happen by magic.

The Protector = vows to shield you from criticism, rejection, and failure. All you have to do is insulate yourself and your writing from the outside world. Sure you’ll be lonely and miss opportunities but no one will ever say anything mean about your work.

The Innocent = is shocked when things get hard. It despondently questions how something like this could happen to you? Denial and idleness are its hallmarks.

The Unlucky = makes the most of any adversity. It likes to underline the negative and obscure the positive. Depression and hopelessness are its chief weapons.

The Saboteur, The Inner Critic, Brunhilda, these are all pseudonyms for the one who wants to keep you from achieving your divinely appointed mission. They are all faces of the Adversary.

This month as you participate in the Spring Clean Writing Fling be hyper-vigilant against his attacks. He doesn’t want you to succeed or feel confident and he will try every trick he can think of to lead you astray.

by PJ Switzer

Links to look at:
Check out Rosanne Bane's website for more information and inspiration.


  1. great post. Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. Thanks for the thoughts and inspiration. My bad fairy is actually the worm thing from Star Trek the Wrath of Khan that climbs into your ear and drills into your brain...