After finishing up a bit of writing this evening, I did something I hadn’t done in a really long time — I looked through some old files in my writing folder on my laptop. And there, nestled inside, I found stories I had started once upon a time and either forgotten about, gotten to a point where I was unclear where the plot should move next, or I had convinced myself weren’t good enough.

And, not to toot my own horn or anything, but most of them were good ideas in my opinion. But as I’ve blogged about before, as a writer, it is so incredibly difficult for me to silence my inner critic while writing. Some of my best friends asked me the other day what is the most difficult part of writing a first draft, and that’s what I told them. It’s not the writing itself — if it’s flowing, that’s the easy part. It’s that nagging part inside that’s constantly shouting, “oh my God! That chapter was lousy! You need to fix it right away before you go any further!” I wish my inner voice was a tad more supportive and maybe even a little too nice, at least at first. It would make things a hell of a lot easier!

As I was opening the different Word docs and reading the first paragraphs of stories past, it made me both sad that I’d left all these characters hanging, but also more determined, because if nothing else it reminded me one simple, easy truth: I am a writer.

And, when I can silence that damn critic long enough, a good writer, too.