The Next Book

On Friday, I heard from North Light Books (a division of F+W Media) , the publisher of my book, Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art, with the good news. My book proposal was accepted and I’ll be writing another book!

Yes, I am excited beyond belief!

What’s the book about? The inner critic and you. Most of us face the inner critic, and know the constant message of lack and attack: “You aren’t good enough,” “You don’t know enough,” and “Other people will take what you have.” That inner critic.

Most people talk about ignoring the inner critic, throwing him/her out of the studio, or ignoring all the demolishing talk.

After doing a lot of research, I thought there might be a better way to deal with the draining emotions, the disappointment, the self-doubt.

If you have an inner critic, you also have inner strengths--maybe you are a great problem solver, or you can pull good ideas out of a hat like a magician pulls scarves. Maybe you have sharp critical thinking skills or can find your way out of your mental maze. All those strengths can be used to confront your inner critic.

Each one of those skills belongs to one of your inner heroes–and each one of us has different heroes. We don’t often use them, because we struggle so hard to get rid of the critic. Or distract, evade, or ignore the critic. No more.

Here’s a question to see if you access your inner hero: You take a test. You get a 98 percent. You immediately check to see what you got wrong, rather than spend a few seconds enjoying how many you got right. That’s you, feeding the ego of the inner critic.

The book will help you finding that inner hero who can confront the inner critic. And you are going to use intuitive art and deep writing skills to get there. The book will show you how. With lots of different techniques.

There are writing techniques and art techniques. None of them require special skills–that’s why it’s a how-to book. You already have enough and know enough–but the book will make it interesting to talk to your inner critic seriously.

I’ve been teaching classes already, and I’ll be teaching more classes, looking for your techniques and your art for the book. And yes, I’ll come teach your group if you want me to. Find between five and ten people, and we can probably make it work out. I’ll also be posting upcoming classes in a few days.

The working title? The Inner Hero Art Journal: Mixed Media Messages to Your Inner Critic. I hope you’ll join me in developing and trying out the book. Either in classes or here on the blog.

–Quinn McDonald is now officially working on her next book!


48 thoughts on “The Next Book

  1. I will so look forward to this book! I find your writing to be honest, encouraging, meaningful and practical. I hope that I can also look forward to your blog posts about the book writing process? 🙂

  2. I love that you aren’t beating the inner critic out of the room entirely, because there are lessons that can be learnt from the inner critic as well. I have also found when you deny it completely and beat it down, it amplifies the noise more in the end.

    Even more I love the feeling of exploring the alter ego…the inner hero. Or heroes. Coming from someone who often dwelt in the 2% I got wrong, picking it to death and making up stories about what that meant about me, I often starve my inner hero, thankfully she hasn’t yet left me for greener pastures. 🙂

    Congratulations about the book as well, I think that is very exciting and so well deserved. Your writing often helps my own realisations along or aids my reflections.

  3. Been smiling around town after reading the news on FB. 🙂 More good wishes for you here.
    Funny fact: I´ve discovered my inner critic is bilingual too, depending on what I´m working on or who I´m talking to.

  4. Congratulations on your book. There is also the constant struggle of wanting to grow as an artist, acceptance, not good enough, striving for perfection, but knowing you will never attain it. I’ve had to come to terms that my work is the best I can do, today. Tomorrow will be better.

  5. How exciting, Quinn ! I’m very happy for you and look forward to your new creation joining “Raw Art Journaling” on mhy bookshelf.
    Meredith in NC

  6. This sounds great…about a subject near and dear to my heart. The inner critic is the hardest of all things to get past in order to create. Looking forward to reading what you write.

  7. Thanks Marilyn….I used to be outstanding in my field in the city! Many years ago. But I have lost my confidence. However today it’s too hot to even venture into my real rural field! Which is a good day to get to the desk and get cracking I guess! While everything is muy seco…very dry…outside I best get the creative juices flowing ! Thankyou for positive words!x

  8. Quinn, it is interesting that you mentioned the 98 percent right idea. I was talking with someone about a month ago about a similar subject and he mentioned that he still remembered the only teacher he ever had who marked the number right on a test rather than the number wrong. What a different message for a child. Maybe” they” are better about things like that now. And it is interesting with my granddaughters when you play the guessing game of finding a number between 1 and 100 when you tell them their guess is “Yes, it’s is above 40 they are happy with the information but if you say “No, it’s below 40” they don’t feel they have been given the equivalent information.

    • That’s very interesting about the “above” and “below”–very interesting. Are we already interested in only high numbers? I think the teacher who marks the numbers right is a genius.

  9. I am so happy for you Quinn. You are an inspiration to me, that perhaps I too can shape ideas into a book and sell them. It really does help to know a “real” person (and you are, as the song says, “mighty real”) who is doing it!!!!

  10. Congratulations! I must tell you how much I thoroughly enjoy your blog. I love your attitude! I’m from Tucson and have signed up to take both classes offered by PaperWorks. Looking forward to meeting you! Thank you.

    • Oh, Annette, I’m so excited about the Tucson class! It will have elements of the new book in it, but just a few. We’ll be busy making Monsoon Papers and writing in journals.

  11. Warmest congratulations, Quinn! Sooo exciting this is! As you point to with this newest book and has been shared here too, the being with this critical voice is so important. Hearing its story, embracing it etc is crucial . This is so awesome, this gift of your newest book. Can’t wait!

  12. Quinn: How exciting for you! I love the way that you “play” and explore your inner critic. I took an on-line class with Claire O’Connor “Playing with your Personas” which explored exactly what you are talking about. We discovered we have many personas that live inside of us, some are victims, some are villians and some are heroes. We played with each of them, gave them names and figured out what they needed and wanted. I found “Tillie the Taskmaster”, who NEEDS to get things checked off the list and is strictly business. I also found “Esther the Encourager” who is there to support and encourage. The most important thing we learned is that each of them bring something we need into our life and we need to love them for what they contribute. Will you be teaching any of your classes on line or only in person?

    • Thanks, Pat. I am a better teacher in real life. Online classes require videos nowadays, and I’m slow with videos. I’d love to put together an online class, and it’s on my list, but my energy now is on finding a way to teach in China in November. So it will be after that. There are many good ways to tackle the inner critic. I love Claire’s class description –it sounds perfect.

  13. I ordered your last book a couple of days ago..great,will give me some time to enjoy that and there wil be another waiting! ! I am my own worst enemy when it comes to the inner critic so will be good for me. ..I love stuff when I get going but I find that the hard bit,it seems self indulgent to enjoy myself when there is always so much practical…..and boring stuff to be done….with the life that I live. I have put myself in the position that I am I but it’s time for change of priorities.,or recognize I am allowed to be me and reorganize things around that. I am 49,I think The Change is happening in more ways than one! Ok,why not start today! Thanks for you blog,it makes living in my field not so lonely!x

  14. Very much look forward to the book, Quinn. When I was a young teen, I called that inner voice, or inner critic, my albatross. The voice arrived most strongly when I was alone, and I thought it was the only voice inside, so I avoided “inside” for a long time. Here’s something I wrote about it;
    I’ve learnt only in the last few years that the voice doesn’t disappear if you avoid your inside places, it just remains as a constant backdrop which you think defines you ( sorry- which I thought defined me). I found it necessary to acknowledge the voice and all the dreadful things it says to me before I could slowly start hearing the other, quieter voices. Then, ( now! In my 50th year! ) I can start to hear the voices that say things like ” you can put things on paper that look pleasing”. ” you can write!” or “my life is good and its uniquely mine”.
    There are still days when the critic voice isvery strong though, so I look forward to your book when it arrives!

    • I read your beautiful, powerful post on your inner critic. We all have an inner critic, it’s part of our brain structure. Useful when we were fighting cave bears, not so useful now. But you have done that very important work–knowing that it may not always be wrong, but it is certainly not always right.

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