All of us have an inner monster — that kick-butt voice inside that bludgeons us with criticism and tells us how worthless, selfish, dumb, or bad we are. It never rests and garners more airplay than the inner voice that tells us how great we really are.

But we don’t have to let the monster’s judgment sabotage our literary success. When a life event disturbs us, it is not the event itself but our judgment of it that causes our suffering. We can’t help forming judgments; that’s how we make sense of the world. In its own ironic way, the judge tries to help us weather literary storms with its kick-butt treatment. Much like the hard-ass drill sergeant who doesn’t want to see a soldier’s head blown off in combat, the judge pumps up the volume when we stumble, concerned that too much leeway will turn us into slackers and prevent us from finishing a writing project.

Studies show that coming down hard on ourselves after a mistake or failure reduces creativity and chances of publishing success. Substituting self-kindness for self-judgment each step of the way is a powerful resilient tool, more likely to lead to writing success.

Today’s Takeaway

Put away your gavel and amp up your kinder, more compassionate side when your inner judge overshadows you, and let it airlift you to untold heights of literary success.

Excerpt from Daily Writing Resilience by Bryan E. Robinson, PhD, with permission from the author and publisher.

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  • Bryan Robinson, Ph.D.

    Journalist, psychotherapist, and Author of 40 books.

    Bryan Robinson, Ph.D.

    Bryan Robinson, Ph.D. is a professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, psychotherapist in private practice, and award-winning author of two novels and 40 nonfiction books that have been translated into 15 languages. His latest books are CHAINED TO THE DESK IN A HYBRID WORLD: A GUIDE TO WORK-LIFE BALANCE (New York University Press, 2023)#CHILL: TURN OFF YOUR JOB AND TURN ON YOUR LIFE (William Morrow, 2019), DAILY WRITING RESILIENCE: 365 MEDITATIONS & INSPIRATIONS FOR WRITERS (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2018). He is a regular contributor to, Psychology Today, and Thrive Global. He has appeared on 20/20, Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, ABC's World News Tonight, NPR’s Marketplace, NBC Nightly News and he hosted the PBS documentary "Overdoing It: How To Slow Down And Take Care Of Yourself." website: