My inner critic is a dental hygienist

I just had my six month cleaning done. Not that you asked.

My dental hygienist is Katya. And Katya means business.

Maybe it’s the white coat. Or the Russian accent. Probably, a little bit of both.

She lines up her instruments, and rolls up her sleeves, ready to scrape, scour, and sandblast my mouth into a pristine state.

Maybe it’s the Catholic in me. But the whole thing feels redemptive and not unpleasant. As a type A, straight-A student, I crave approval and recognition. I want high marks. I need to know that stringing miles of floss through my teeth has counted for something. (She says it does.)

See you in January, Katya!

There is a time and place for picking and cleaning and sandblasting, but not every day. Twice a year is enough.

And yet, we allow our own inner critics to do this: Stride in with rubber gloves under the guise of “help,” and proceed to pick us apart, point out flaws, poke at our tender spots. We assume they know better. But do they?

If you think you can scrub and fix your way to excellence, well, you can’t. You might emerge clean and spotless—but you’ll also emerge empty handed.

That’s because making things, like a delicious meal for instance, requires that you make a bit of a mess. And that’s part of the fun.

Your critic’s job is to find errors and risky spots, but that’s not how you find what’s really great about what YOU do.

I say:

Eat now, clean later.

Create now, refine it later.

Write now, edit later.

Because you can’t do anything later with what you didn’t make today.

If the idea of doing the work, writing the book, starting the blog, penning the piece you have wanted to—and doing it now, not some far off day that doesn’t exist yet, then consider joining us for the Six Week Sprint.

Those who have been part of this program and community since we started in lockdown feel changed by it simply because it gave them the chance to explore their own work and get the kind of feedback that doesn’t make you want to stick your head through a wall.

Curious but not sure? Feel free to take a look around and see for yourself (or, just hit reply and ask me!)

The Sprint is not a hammer and you are not a nail. It has to be the right fit to change your life. And it very well could do that.

Writing is not just for poets, journalists, and authors. That’s like saying oxygen is just for scuba divers.

We all breathe. We all write.

Find out how to use the page to access what’s hidden, what wants to be found, that no one else can. (Not even Katya with her state of the art sandblaster.)

Learn more about the Sprint (registration closes this Friday!).