This is a transcription of an interview I did with Tami Patzer that can be found on Women Innovators: Interviews with Women with Big Messages and Big Missions. This is Part two, and picks up where Part 1 left off:
KC: So for example, you’re in that flow and you start noticing that the critical voice is coming in and starting to condemn and judge and limit.
You have to know that you’ve gone out of that solitary place of being in the flow where the focus is so powerful and so strong in the movement of what you’re doing. You’ve left the deep archeological dig and gone into a wider overview.
Now you’ve gone into editing mode. You’ve gone into the land of “others,” where there’s that other voice that is judging and criticizing.
Just recognize that shift.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing because we do need to edit our work as writers. But there is a choice to be made: do we stay with the dig for story, or do we move into editing mode?
We do need to have that bigger overview of our work, but not necessarily the sabotaging part of it. So how do we start to tease apart editorial critiquing from personal sabotage?
One of the things that I’ve discovered is that journaling is a really good way of getting to know all the ways that the inner critic shows up in your own life. First of all, just recognizing that voice is really important because if you can’t recognize it, you can’t work with it. And in working with it, what I do is I start to give it a job — a better job.
For example: one sentence might not be the right phrasing. So I’ll ask myself what is the right phrasing? What is a better way to say that? And that critical awareness that so innately knows how to slice and dice and split hairs — it gets down to work.
Does this piece work as a whole?
Then, do the chapters work?
Do the paragraphs work?
Does this sentence work?
Does this particular word work in this sentence?
And that critic knows how to get right in there and like pick out where the answer is, “Nope, that’s not the right word.” And so it may start off being like that. In fact, it might start off saying, “That’s the dumbest word that you could have chosen.” You know, it may start out being that kind of mean, nasty voice. But if you ignore the nasty part of it and just listen to the part that is discerning, there’s a positive in that. That discernment, that skepticism, that critical energy knows how to go right to what’s not working in your piece. It can get right to the heart of the issue, and that’s very, very helpful. Over time, it becomes a really potent ally if you can ignore the mean part of it and just focus on using the energy of it for furthering your effort, furthering your writing.
TP: I think you’re right. And one of the things about that inner critic is to say, okay, inner critic, you don’t get to play right now. You have to wait until time because when you are in that flow, you really do need to just dump it and let it all come out. So without criticizing or worrying about spelling or grammar or all of the little nit-picky things that an editor does gets picked up later. But I think you’re right, that inner critic has, it has a real value, but you cannot allow it to be there in the creative process because it’ll stop you and not allow you to complete whatever the process is. But you’re right, there is a value in going back and editing your own work, not to mention you have to have other editors edit your work in the future because sometimes we don’t even see our own errors.
I’m talking about the publication process here. Obviously that’s a different scenario than sharing your work with others. But it is funny how you were talking about how that critic will say, “Who do you think you are,” “That’s the wrong word,” or whatever it is about this process. But if you just allow it to flow and you know, tell that critic, okay, you’ll get to play at another time. It’s very helpful and useful.
You’ve done a lot of writing, and I understand that you are just finishing up — is it a 30 day challenge where you’re writing something every single day for Medium?
KC: Yes, I have been writing every single weekday.
TP: Every single weekday. Okay.
So, how has that helped you with your creative inner critic process? Because if you’re trying to produce something every single day, did you have any revelations about this inner critic process during this challenge?
KC: Not so much during this particular challenge, but I’ll tell you, that inner critic has come in really handy because I’ve written several entire pieces and then stood back and looked at them and thought, I don’t know about this piece. I don’t think this is right… and then just put it on the back burner to work with it later. Maybe turn it into something else. But in general, I would say no, not on this particular challenge because I’ve worked long and hard with my inner critic in my early writing days, and now it’s become an indispensible ally in my writing.
It really comes down to a figure/ground thing. Where do I want to focus my energy and awareness, and how do I want to be expending my energy right now? Do I want to be in that creative flow or do I want to come up and out and have an overview of the whole of the piece and the process that’s underway? Sometimes it’s a choice, and sometimes the energy of the moment will guide and direct me to the level where I need to be working.
I would say any stress about the Medium Challenge has shown up in getting to the end of writing the piece and then really questioning whether I’m ready to hit that publish button. Writing a new blog every single day is a lot of pressure, and not much time to edit and mull things over. It’s really jumping in the deep end and just going for it every single day. It’s been a pretty interesting challenge in terms of just priming the pump of getting in that creative flow every single day. I love the rigor of it and the discipline of it.
TP: I think that’s a good point because it goes back to my issue about journaling and introspection and allowing myself to feel. And I think that’s a whole other part of why people journal or write. It’s because you have to allow yourself to feel. I’m not a big crier, for example. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel, but I do know that over the years I had all these responsibilities of taking care of children, working, going to school, doing whatever that I had to do, which tamped down a lot of that internal stuff. And I’m being honest, even right now I’m going, well if I start writing about personal things, what’s going to pop out? Because I do a lot of writing that’s professional, you know, and it’s a totally different type of writing. But what if I actually do start to look at this other side of me and what if I told the inner critic to, you know, go away for awhile.
I use that critic a lot for editing and just for processing because it’s easy, and you need that for business. Again, your personal life is a whole other thing. When I was a teenager, let’s just say I was the poetry writer, I had so many crushes — you know, the unrequited love. I used to use a calendar and I’d write the date because I wanted to remember what I felt like in that moment. So obviously I was learning how to use that. So that’s very interesting. How useful do you think writing and journaling is to move you into a transformational place or into having a better connection with the Divine? Is it useful for that?
KC: In my experience, I found that it’s incredibly useful because when we’re journaling and writing about those more personal experiences, first of all, there’s less pressure. So even if the inner critic shows up, it doesn’t necessarily have to stop us. We can just keep going because we’re not going to show it to anybody, it’s just for our own personal investigation. We’re not trying to be creative on a schedule. We’re not going to hit that publish button, which can soften that inner critic. But at the same time, there’s such a deep and rich inner knowing, and we get to know ourselves better and better through writing in a journal, all kinds of different reactions and responses show up. We get to know who we really are versus who we think we are. We begin to see patterns over time in our writing that, oh my gosh, I always handle this kind of situation the same way. And it always has the same outcome or an energetically similar kind of outcome. That’s going to give us the opportunity to become more aware so that we can make different choices and experience a different outcome in our everyday life. So it’s a very potent vehicle for self examination. When you add life force energy and life force energy transmissions to that, you have this incredible, dynamic dovetailing between the two that is very synergistic because you’re doing this deep investigation, and at the same time, the life force energy helps to raise our consciousness.
So we’re going to continually be seeing things through new eyes. And so we’re going to have new perceptions and we can track over time how we’re choosing to do things differently and what’s working and what’s not working. And it becomes an incredible synergy, the way they work together. And so everything, all of our experiences becomes grist for the mill, and can show up in our journal.
TP: That’s really interesting. So, with what you do with your life force energy transmissions and the work you do and your background in writing and journaling and your educational background — do you work with people on this using journaling and writing to connect to life force energy or to work on a connection within themselves? Because I can see a great value in having a mentor to help you. Like somebody like me who says, “Oh, I’m afraid to write. Cause what if something comes up that I am not prepared to deal with or I don’t want to deal with?” How cool would it be to be able to contact Krista and say, “You know what, Krista, I was journaling and something came up that I’m not 100% comfortable with. Can I talk to you about this issue?” Do you work with people in that way?
KC: I do, actually. I’m working with a couple of people who said, “You know, I always wanted to journal, but I just, for whatever reason, never around to it,” and now they’re journaling and they’re finding value in it. And so, yes, I do. I’m also in the process of putting together a course called Sacred Journaling about self investigation through the journaling process.
TP: Sacred journaling. I’m looking for a pen. I really like that a lot because, to me, listening to you today, there’s such a great value and like you said, sacred journaling to work on this process of connecting you within yourself so that we’re connecting, you know, the good and the bad and everything in between. Our inner critic, our ego, our soul, our spirit, all of it. We’re all one. It’s just that. And we all have different processes and purposes about moving forward. So, what’s the best way for people to connect with you so that maybe you could set up — maybe you are going to have a Beta group or something with this course that you’re developing so they could get in on the ground floor of journaling — and get started sooner than later. I think that’s really important to take action. And that’s something, you know, when the universe comes knocking and if you’re listening to this conversation, it’s kind of like, hey, yes, it’s you we’re talking to and to connect with Krista about this because, like I said, it’s really important to allow yourself to get inside and to reflect and to move forward so that you can have that sacred journey with this sacred journaling. So how to connect with you.
KC: They can connect with me through my website, which is www.kristacallas.com, and they can find me on Facebook as well.
TP: And what about on Medium, where you’ve been doing all these cool blogs? What is that called?
KC: I’m on Medium at: www.Medium.com/@KristaCallas. Definitely, yes, I invite people to stop by and read some of my pieces. I’d love to hear from people.
TP: I’ve seen some really nice comments and on Medium, they do “Claps” instead of “Likes.” I’ve seen some really nice comments. And I also saw that just the other day, one of your blogs was picked up by Medium to be promoted on the front page for Mental Health. It was all about laughter and the benefits of laughter. How cool is that to be recognized by Medium, which has literally millions of people going to check it out, and for your piece to have been recognized. That’s pretty phenomenal.
KC: Thank you. Yes, I was really surprised and so happy to see that. And you know what, Tami, it just happened again yesterday.
TP: Really? So what was your topic this time?
KC: The name of the piece is called, “If Home Were a Mountain.” They put into their travel section.
TP: So, again, for those of you people who are want to be writers, also, what’s the secret? The secret is that Krista’s writing regularly, pushing the button and sharing her authentic stories and herself. And I think that that’s what real people want. We want connection. We want to know the real soul, the real spirit of each other. And you’re proving it by the fact that Medium is picking up your articles. And again, how cool is that Mental Health and Travel and — that happened really in a relatively short time because you’re just publishing lately one thing on the weekdays. So that’s really a phenomenal thing. And that’s a little like insider trick or hack I guess you could say is like, how do you get published? Medium is a great opportunity for that. So before I let you go, Krista, is there anything else that you’d like to say?
KC: Just that it’s an incredibly rich and deep and joyful journey. And over time, it’s incredible the transformation that can happen and the awarenesses that can come and the deepening in relationship to ourself and to the Divine of Our Own Understanding. It’s really a beautiful journey, so if you have any interest in journaling, or if you’re already a writer and you want to work more deeply and investigate life force energy and how that might help your writing, please contact me.
TP: Great. Well thank you so much. Everyone, definitely go check out Krista’s website at www.kristacallas.com. There’s a lot of good information, and go check out Medium. Krista, I think you have such great value to share, and I hope people go check you out and connect because it is that sacred journey. You can go deep with the sacred journaling, which is pretty phenomenal. So everyone, this is Tami Patzer. Go make it a beautiful day.