|"I can't believe you did it."
"You're wrong, I almost did it, my conscience stopped me."
"Well, you can't hide from me. I can be your conscience, your inner voice, your inner child, your inner everything."
"Yes, you work overtime and you forgot to mention your my inner critic."
"Well, you need my help. What's going on with you? Reading someone else's story and copying it almost word for word. It wouldn't be as bad if you kept it private, but geez entering a writing contest with a copied story? Listen, I'm hear to help you."
"Don't you remember what Oscar Wilde said,? "Good writers borrow, great writers steal."
"I don't think Mr. Wilde meant stealing every word, excuse me almost every word. Go on, read the stories of the great writers, study their style and yes they can influence you, but you need to write. It's hard work, but the payoff is when your words capture your reader's heart.
"But, I don't know how to begin a story much less write one. There's so much to learn and I don't believe I can do it."
"Listen, I know all about you. I see the scribbled sentences and wads of paper you toss. Even when you give up, you can't see what's hanging over your head. It's with you every day and night."
"What are you talking about?"
"The pressure to write the great story. There are other writers like you, living their life under the black cloud of pressure. It saps their energy and their creativity hides, afraid to come out. This cloud has you thinking that I'm your critic. Believe me, I can help you."
"How can you help me?"
"First of all relax, you're not the best writer or the worst one. Get comfortable with the thought of being average, not at the top or bottom of the pile, but in the crowded middle, full of writers like you. Next, write every day even if it's one sentence. Find enjoyment in those few words, your thought on paper or screen waiting for you to read and reading it out loud is divine. Lastly, desire to improve, shoo away distractions, that includes writing distractions such as cramming your brain with too many "How to Write" articles. Learn to focus, choose one topic on writing you would like to improve on, select one article, podcast, video, etc. and give it your full attention. It's not that hard, I know you can do it."
"Gosh, this makes sense, why didn't you tell me this before?"
"Because you wouldn't listen, you thought of me as your inner critic."
"Not anymore, listening to you calms me down, helps me see writing a story as an adventure."
"I know you can do it, take it slow, enjoy every moment. You're right, writing is an adventure, but you're wrong about one thing. I'm not your inner critic because deep within the voice that puts you down is the voice patiently waiting to be heard your own unique voice . . . the one of a writer.