“Write Freely” Rules of the Road

From my new book Soup Kitchen Writing: An Easy Guide to Kitchen Table Writing,
I list the 10 Rules for “Fresh Writing.” 

Rule #4:  Go with the flow.  Check the critic at the door.

When we begin our writing sessions, before we have clicked into the zone of writing, sometimes the critic slips in on little cat feet ready to haunt us.  Some voice we have heard in the past, some warning that tempts to hold back creativity loves to stop us in our tracks. 

The critic has a place in the afternoon when we are editing, or the voice that says, “Stop, Look and Listen” to keeps us from crossing the street without caution.  But… this critic, mean old Aunt Minnie, your mother’s voice, an admonishing father, all can make us strive for perfection and immobilize to creating.

Before we begin our work, CHECK THE CRITIC AT THE DOOR.  If that nasty buggy won’t stay outside your house, then imagine a bubble in front of you.  Put that demon little wiggler in a bubble, and like letting go of a balloon, let the bubble go.  Let it drift out of your space, your house, your neighborhood, way to the edge of the universe.  Then gently or with great aplume, explode the bubble.  Hurrah!  If exploding seems too harsh, dissolve it.  Let it fade away.  Make fireworks and let it go.  You are free.  You have permission.  So now sit down and write freely.  Celebrate your progress!  Get to writing.

Go with the flow!  Check the critic at the door. 


  • I hear your frustration. Everything I’ve read says you have to be in it for the long haul. Persistance is the key. I’ve finally finished after 8 years. It doesn’t mean I couldn’t fuss over it some more. Even published writers say when they look at one of their published works they see things they’d change, but nothing’s ever perfect. i’m sending it out again and starting my second book. Perhaps, you should concentrate on the rest for awhile then go back with a revised perpective.

    I’m in a good writing group and the reactions of members to the revision process is telling. There are several who won’t do it at all. Just send the first draft out and revision be dammed. I get tired of listening to their stuff over and over again without any improvements.

    My closest writer friends are a study in contrasts. One, in her 50’s, just got an agent and is working on the process. Her agent wants her to begin her second book. The other one is 28 and has had her manuscript out to several agents. They like it, but turn it down. She’s rewriting but talking about giving up. That would be a shame because she is very talented. Won an award. I wish I could write as easily as she can. She’s a good critiquer though.

    Hope this helps. I’m just plugging away. Pat

    PatJune 15, 2008

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