Until about a month ago, I had been getting increasingly motivated to put my thoughts down and share them. Lately that motivation has diminished. Does writer’s block stem from an underlying identity crisis? If so, then I think this is writer’s block.
I’ve been writing about the emotions that come up as a result of certain personal and professional experiences. I’ve been writing about how I engage with these experiences and how I learn about myself in the process. All the while, in varying degrees of intensity, my inner critic has been doing a remarkable job convincing me that my efforts in this regard have been a less than useful exercise. In fact, as I write this, she’s using the words “complete and utter self-indulgence” to describe the things I’ve written. It’s not the first time she’s said that either. She’s so mean.
She might also have a point.
Self-awareness exercises are self-indulgent by design. I can acknowledge that. But it’s an entirely different story to acknowledge how that feels, especially given that the term ‘self-indulgent’ has quite the judgmental ring to it.
Here are a few examples of the thoughts I’ve observed recently:
How selfish are you to focus on yourself when there are important people/places/things in the world that actually matter?
Why do you think that anyone would be interested in this? You must think very highly of yourself.
What a charmed life you must lead if you have all this time to sit around and think about your feelings.
Do you think you might be taking this postmodern approach a little too far? [Ha! Now she’s saying, Oooohh ‘postmodern’…who are you trying to impress?]
And, finally, the raison-d’être of this post:
You’d better write something about how you already know that your blog posts are self-indulgent because someone out there is definitely thinking it and you should get out in front of that one immediately.
My inner critic is alive and well and she gets louder the more I ignore her. I established this pattern over the course of many years and a lot of practice. The more I push her away, the stronger she gets. My decision to share my experience of her with you was deliberate. I needed to give her some attention.
She thanks you for the indulgence, but I’m pretty sure she's being sarcastic.