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LizzieBennet

Her Fine Eyes

Caustic reviews of YA books I adore. 

Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk

Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative - Danielle Krysa

This was on sale on Audible for 99 cents, so I couldn't resist. 

 

At two hours and forty-three minutes, it's a short, self-help pick-me-up, designed to encourage artists of all sorts to set aside negative internal thoughts about their work and just get back to making stuff.

 

The tone is warm and encouraging, which is precisely what the material calls for.

 

It might be most useful for someone who's just embarking on a creative enterprise, to give them courage, and to force them to stop and think about why they might have negative thoughts about themselves. (Did you receive a negative critique in the past? Did a parent or teacher dismiss your art as a child?)

 

I'm not much of an "exercises" enthusiast (e.g. thirty-day projects, writing prompts, painting prompts), so I wasn't interested in those suggestions.

 

I wish it had been more carefully researched and edited. I don't need it to be a scholarly tome--it's supposed to be light and fun, after all--but a little fact-checking always helps to make a published work feel more authoritative. 

 

1. It did not take Thomas Edison 10,000 attempts to produce a successful lightbulb. This is an often-repeated myth. See the explanation of his trials and errors here. (His lab did apparently conduct thousands of experiments while designing a storage battery.)

 

2. The phrase "working in a vacuum" does not refer to a vacuum cleaner. At first I thought Ms. Krysa was talking about it being dusty and too small inside as a play on words, but she continued the description throughout the chapter. She does understand that the metaphor means "working in isolation," but doesn't seem to realize that the origin of the expression is "a space devoid of matter," not "a machine to suck up dirt." :)

 

3. She asks "What if Leonardo da Vinci had thought painting the Mona Lisa was a waste of time?" In fact, da Vinci is a terrible example if you want to portray a healthy attitude about one's artistic career. He was notorious for not completing commissions, for leaving paintings unfinished for years, and for feeling like an abject failure because of it. He carted the Mona Lisa around with him until his death, rather than present it to the patron who commissioned it.