Tool 48 ~ Limit self-criticism in early drafts.

“Turn it loose during revisions.”

I can’t believe I am almost done! Only three more tools to go!!

Clark talks about Gail Godwin, someone who wrote, “The Watcher at the Gate.” Apparently, this watcher-person, to Godwin, was a “restraining critic who lived inside me” (233). It blocked her creativity and was altogether annoying. Coming directly from Godwin herself:

“It is amazing the lengths a Watcher will go to keep you from pursuing the flow of your imagination. Watchers are notorious pencil sharpeners, ribbon changers, plant waterers, home repairers and abhorrers of messy rooms or messy pages. They are compulsive looker-uppers. They cultivate sel-important eccentricities they think are suitable for ‘writers.’ And they’d rather die (and kill your inspiration with them) than risk making a fool of themselves.”

So find someone in your life who is pure encouragement–a Barnabas. Someone who can boost you up and say, “You’re awesome!”

Clark continues a little later on, “For Godwin, weapons against the Watcher include such things as deadlines, writing fast, writing at odd times, writing when you’re tired, writing on cheap paper, writing in surprising forms from which no one expects excellence” (234).

And I would write more about this tool, but I can’t honestly relate it too my life. Perhaps my Watchers would be frantically running around doing nothing so I can’t write . . . or buying stuff . . . or eating food . . . which I don’t think is exactly what Godwin is talking about . . . not sure.

I do know I struggle with creativity sometimes. Actually, frequently. Maybe it is time to slay some Watchers. Just an idea actually. A modern-day Jabberwocky? Hmmmm . . .




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