Silence your inner mean boss and create more content
It really sucks when someone in charge says something that lays their judgment on you, and it’s even worse when it sticks.
Especially if you have to do a task and their commentary is related.
But that loop doesn’t always have to stick, and it doesn’t have to play when you are your own boss.
Here’s the story:
When I was still madly in love with ONLY writing newspaper content and working as a full-time reporter, the owner of the first paper I worked at sold out to a larger chain (one that I still see frequently, even when I ended up in a new town and a new county). The owner of that chain served as publisher, and one day he came to me for a chat I remember him looking at my layout or looking over my shoulder at a work in progress on my computer screen.
I can’t remember the majority of the interaction, but I do remember him calling my writing style “stilted” and hard to read. He also told me he wanted my story selection to change.
It was the “stilted” and hard to read part that stuck with me, and still comes up, more than a decade later (holy crap, I can’t believe it’s been almost 15 years).
Since that conversation, I’ve often suffered from unrelenting questions as I write or prepare to. “What will people think?” “How will they respond?”
It’s led to inconsistency in my blog, in outreach for my email newsletter. In other words, it’s been harmful to my business.
Two options when the inner mean boss comes out
But I’m learning to shut off those voices and to use the frustration they bring in order to actually create. And I’m giving you two ways I do that:
Tell that voice to shut up and keep going, at least to get a first draft out.
Or, listen to the voice, but dig into it instead.
When my inner mean boss (or memories of those baddie bosses past) comes out, I look at it as a sign to take a break. The voice is detailing my blog content and email content creation anyway, so a reset sometimes helps.
At some point, I pull out my journal and I start asking questions:
How can I reframe it?
What happens if I let that baddie win? What could happen if I won instead?
In the Writing Unfiltered world, the reframe comes first, and can be kind of complicated emotionally, depending on why baddie piped up. I’ve learned through journaling and massive thought about things that the way I used to write, the way newspaper reporters used to write (just the facts/no fluff) doesn’t appeal like it used to, but that doesn’t say anything about me, just that things have changed.
The “what happens/what could happen” musings tend to lead to reframing if I don’t jump there first (it doesn’t ALWAYS happen that my brain goes to changing the narrative first). It often energizes me and starts a flow of writing that can lead to 2-3 different blog posts (and I do love stockpiling those)!
The results I get are why I’m writing this blog post- they help me to learn about myself, to create new content, and they tend to make me feel better about the voice popping up in the first place, and I figured it was worth sharing with you.
I think they’ll work for just about anyone, but if you still have the dreaded writer’s block after an inner meanie’s visit, or you’ve come to dread the task of writing itself, you still have options.
I’d love to hear from you:
What do you do when the inner mean boss comes out to play?
If you’ve tried these suggestions, how did it go?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
April Bamburg, Content Writer
My business is Writing Unfiltered. Writing is what I do. Unfiltered is the type of life I aspire to have.
I’m a little different from most people I know, partly because I find research delightful. I love learning about new topics in order to write about them.
Anyone you ask will tell you I drink too much coffee. They might also say I’m out of touch when it comes to pop culture. I definitely don’t jump into trendy topics until the buzz has died down. I like music people have never heard of, or is no longer popular. (Seriously. I just binge-watched Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, and Parenthood this year. Don’t expect me to get into Game of Thrones.) But, I stick with what I like (New Kids on the Block will ALWAYS be on my playlist.)