Inner Critic

"My inner critic is the thing that keeps me doing draft after draft until the work is good. So I trust it and don't want to silence it completely. But you still need to quiet your mind. I try to meditate twice a day, which helps me feel calm and peaceful. I also exercise—not a class where you're held hostage by a teacher's personality, but one where there is dancing and no one is talking to you. It's impossible for me to worry about a script or scenes or salaries when I'm like, 'Wait, where do I put my foot?'"

Jenni Konner — Executive Producer of the HBO series, Girls
Real Simple magazine, October 2014

 


It's difficult to leave a story even as I set down my laptop. I generally do my best writing away from my keyboard, when I'm sorting laundry or taking my dog outside. I started out as a daydreamer, and learned to write things down. It's a process that's worked for close to 30 years, and I'm not about to change it now.

I've been asked why I obsess over creating draft after draft, never quite satisfied with a manuscript. Can't I just let it go? Yes. And no. I am my own worst critic—that's the curse of being a writer. I don't care if anyone else is happy with something if I'm not happy with it. I am constantly striving to push my potential, produce better work, and grow. That means listening to the sarcastic voice in my head that screams, "This is bullshit!" as I edit. Tuning it out would be settling, and that's something I'm just not willing to do.

Nothing I write is ever going to be perfect. There's always going to be a typo, or something that could have been better explained. There's always someone who's going to point out something. But if I love it, if I've taken it to a point where we can look one another in the eye and agree that we did our best, then I don't care what anyone else thinks.