Nancy's Books

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Hush the Inner Critic

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

After I read the editorial notes and allow my Inner Critic to shut me down for the day, I usually don’t reread the ideas and suggestions, but I think about them. Ponder, I call it. Some comments will stick out in my mind, and I figure out a way to work through them. If I can figure out a way to work through one, I begin to relax. One at a time, that’s my mantra.

 The next day, I read through the notes again. This time, I force myself to concentrate on what the editor has to say. If Inner Critic shouts or even whispers, I force my thoughts to analyze the notes. Usually there is a, A-HA! Moment and I think, Oh, I get it. But as I read on, there are often other suggestions that I’ll have to give much more thought to. That’s okay. One at a time.

I close the notes and reread the manuscript, the whole manuscript, without changing one work. As I read I figure out where some of the changes can be made…and how. I make notes as I read, flagging sections that need revision.

At this point I tackle the revision and invite Inner Critic to join me. As I change and tweak, Inner Critic tells me if it’s not working. In AMAGING GRACE: A KENTUCKY GIRL WITH GUMPTION DURING WWII, I had to extract several chapters and rewrite. I outlined the new chapters. An outline allows me to figure out what will happen and in what order. If I have a plan in place, I can hush my Inner Critic.

Next week, I’ll discuss more ways to put a lid on my Inner Critic.

Call for submissions for Young Writers:

" has been extremely proud to host an annual student writing contest during the past 16 years for all currently enrolled high school, undergraduate, graduate students, student interns, and volunteers (including Peace Corps)." Awards cash prizes of $500/$150/$100/$50 and publication on

Submission guidelines at

Call for submissions for Adult Writers

Upstreet has reopened for submissions (fiction and nonfiction only; they’re not considering unsolicited poetry at this time). “Payment, upon publication, will be between $50 and $250 for short stories or essays. Each author will also receive one complimentary copy, and may purchase more copies at a reduced rate.” Submission window closes March 1, 2017.

Submission guidelines at

Nancy Kelly Allen has written 50 children’s books and a cookbook, SPIRIT OF KENTUCKY: BOURBON COOKBOOK.


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