Who is Your Inner Editor?

If you write, I am pretty sure you have one.  And if you don’t  write, I know you do– and I know they’ve had the last word.  So far.   Some people call them inner critics.  I have two and they have names.  Wise Guy and Breathless.  They both smoke. I don’t.

Wise Guy is fast talking, with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth. He is impatient, and suffers no fools. Over and over he says, “What! are you kidding me.?” He sits at huge desk in a newsroom surrounded by the thunder of  clacking typewriters. His world is in black and white.

Breathless, on the other hand, hardly says a word.  She raises an eye brow, sighs, lifts her gloved hand toward her mouth and takes a slow drag on a cigarette held in a mother of pearl and onyx  holder.  And then she shakes her head.  Slowly. And as she mouths the word, “No…” smoke rings float above her head.   And I pull another piece of paper out of the typewriter, crumple another page  and toss it over my shoulder.  This is all figurative, of course.  I don’t own a typewriter.

What is not figurative is the crumpled paper,  the deleted paragraphs, the discarded worked and reworked drafts.  This innervation of inspiration by criticism that isn’t really there is real.  And those crumpled pages are food for Wise Guy and Breathless.

I haven’t been writing and Wise Guy and Breathless are getting bored.  They are loud this morning.  But it is different this time.  Wise Guy says, “What? Are you kidding me?  If you want to write, write!

And Breathless surprises me, too: “Darling, such fuss!  Just put something down.”  So I do.  They shrug.  Nod.  Link arms and walk  away.  It was all just  smoke.

 

About Annie Campbell

Annie Campbell is a National Board Certified third grade teacher and loves her work. She especially enjoys teaching children how to be enthusiastic readers, writers, and problem solvers. Every year, she hopes to inspire her students to be committed citizens who know they can make a difference in the world around them. When she is not teaching, Annie enjoys cooking for family and friends; she likes to lose herself in a good book; she loves discovering new ideas, restaurants, perfect picnic places, and movies with her husband, Ben.
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5 Responses to Who is Your Inner Editor?

  1. Tracey Lopez says:

    Annie, I love this post. I have inner editors too, who have prevented me from even hitting one key on the “typewriter.” Your words inspire me to take a deep breath, wave the smoke away, and just start. I’m in a new home, with a new job, so the fields of inspiration are fresh and inviting. Thank you, and thank you!

  2. Nora says:

    Annie, your words resonate with me. However, my inner editors can’t even sit down with me, because my mind is so cluttered with the stuff of life.

  3. Jenny says:

    If my over-protective Guardian dressed in armor was less protective and more trusting then my free floating Spirit with her flowing skirts and wild hair would write beautiful words of wisdom and knowing.

  4. elsie says:

    It’s always a treat to read the thoughts that come from Write Now In Room 204. I’m glad those inner editors gave you the nudge to put some words out there for the world to read and enjoy.

  5. Sue says:

    Welcome back, Annie! We’ve missed your reflections.

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