Internalized Voices And Writing

I know that internalized voices affect writing.  I wrote generally about internalized voices last week, but today I want to talk about how these voices affect writing.  I learned a lot about this from my own writing and also from advising many doctoral dissertations and coaching some writers.

Internalized voices become your imaginary reader. When I first started writing, I think that my mother was the person I wrote to – she was my imaginary reader (imaginary because she never read anything I wrote).  The problem was that my mother would have indiscriminately loved everything I wrote so that made her a kind, but useless, reader. Many people I know have much tougher critics to whom they write. Imagine trying to get words on paper when some miserable voice in the back of your mind is saying, “That’s not very good” “Is this the best you can do?” “You don’t have anything to say.”  Not an easy reviewer.  This is particularly deadly in the early stages of writing when the job is to get some ideas on the page, not edit or critique. As an advisor or coach, some of my job was to fire those readers and replace them with benign, interested imaginary ones. 


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