Damn that Inner Critic

Poetry is personal.  My short stories, novels, essays, while personal aren’t a microcsope of how I was feeling in a particular moment.  My poetry is an insight into how I was feeling in one particular moment.  It exposes sometimes raw emotion to whoever reads it. 

In many ways this is what makes it good (and dare I hope great) poetry.  I’ve been working on gathering up my poetry to publish.  I think I’ll have a few volumes of it.  I have two large binders full to choose from so I think I can come up with a couple different.  The first step for me in gathering my poetry was of course to go through to make sure all my files matched up – my binder with my spreadsheet of poetry with the actual typed files of poetry. 

As a writer, I have to tap into personal feelings often. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried or laughed or gotten angry while I wrote a scene. When I write my poems, I literally scrawl down my feelings – raw and real – that I’m having in a whatever moment is going around me. Sometimes this is the beautiful scene outside my window. Sometimes it is a social injustice I am railing against. Sometimes it is just a magical moment that needs to be remembered. 

As I was working on cleaning it up last night and looking through my work I started to hear that nagging annoying inner voice telling me the poetry wasn’t up to par and I should pick something else to publish.  I trust my instincts.  This grumbling voice is not connected to my instincts.  It is connected to my wish to remain private and protected.  If I share the poems then people will know what I think and what I feel.  This is dangerous because I am opening these thoughts and feeling to ridicule or rejection.

Now if I could just use some duct tape on this inner critic I would be in much better shape but I can’t.  She pops up when I least expect her.  Fortunately I’m very familiar with her tricks and tantrums.  Last night when I heard that voice telling me I shouldn’t publish my poetry it hit me hard as I was very excited about this project.  I’m working on the cover and thinking about how I want to organize it all.  The details are all in my head and I just need time to get it together. 

There I was working on the first step and my inner critic starts in with that poem isn’t good enough or who is going to be interested in this.  It made me pause.  It made me pause long enough to turn the page and look at a different poem and know I need to share.  Not every poem in my two binders is good enough to be published.  Some just don’t have the depth or are too personal.  There are many reasons to reject them but there are just as many that are worth sharing.  The sentiment in the poems will touch people I believe.  For that reason, I need to share them. 

I’ll work on shoving that inner critic into the back of the closet in my head.  I’ll work on the poetry books and will let the readers be the judge.  All I can do is put the work out and let the readers decide.   

Moon Affirmations
Available for sale at:
Available on Amazon:
Available on Barnes and Nobles:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moon-affirmations-eileen-troemel/1119387496?ean=2940045859738

Secret Past
Available on Barnes and Nobles:
Available for sale at:
Available on Amazon:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *