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Getting rid of critics

From a delightful book, Writing Alone and with Others

(Very broadly rewritten)

Relax. Take some time for yourself. Center if you can, meditate, candlelight, incense or anything else that brings soothing to your soul.

Then imagine yourself on the edge of a desert, at the edge of a small town in Arizona, Texas or California. The sun is setting and you are waiting for a bus. Finally in the distance you see dust swirling and headlights coming out of the edge of the sand. It is the bus. It comes to a halt.

Then you see that the first person off the bus is someone who said something negative about your writing or your talent or intelligence. You finally tell the person just where to get off, that they had no right to treat you like that. Really get into it. Let loose anything that you’ve held back over the years. Speak up for the little boy or little girl who couldn’t stand up for themselves.

When you are done with that person, you notice that the second person off the bus also criticized you or tried to cut your wings to hold onto you, or didn’t want you to get opportunities that they were denied– whatever the reason, you see this person and you tell them everything you never got to say all those years ago. You say it now. Really let them have it.

When you are done, keep seeing people get off the bus that held you back in any way, and let them know that they had no right to hurt an innocent child, or a confident adolescent or a college student.

Then see the next one. Even if it was a bad review of a book you published by a hostile critic, have your revenge now. The point it to get it all out of your system.

At the end of all the negative stuff, then have people that helped you along the way emerge next, one at a time from the bus. Tell them how much their help has meant to you over the years, what you learned from them and how it has had an impact on your life.

See them one at a time.

Until the bus is empty and you have laid the past to rest.

Later on, see if you can find some of the people that helped you along the way. Say “thank you.” You’ll feel better and maybe make a friend after so many years.

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