Demon editor

This afternoon, I was reviewing some detailed written feedback from my recent narration course (thanks a ton, Chuck!) when I had a bit of an epiphany.

I need to be more accepting of my gifts.

I’ve always been plagued by a tendency to be overly critical of my own work. (I’m sure there are reasons for this, and I can guess at some of them. But I’ll spare you the boring psychohistory.) It has affected my career as a writer, even though I’m an excellent writer. It affects me as a speaker, even though I’m as effective a speaker as anyone I could name.

A therapist might call it “paralysis by analysis.” (In fact, a therapist has.) I have a difficult time turning my internal “edit” function off.

When I step into the voiceover booth, this tendency affects me in a couple of ways.

One, I get focused on processing what I’m saying instead of immersing myself in the actual performance. Sirenetta described this disconnect brilliantly during my most recent private lesson. She could almost hear the synaptic delay caused by the spinning of my mental gears as I read my copy.

Two, I hear myself with negative ears. This results in my wrestling with my mistakes — genuine or merely prospective — rather than enhancing and maximizing the many things I do very well. (This gift also makes me the world’s greatest copy editor. That, however, isn’t helping me here.)

Today’s epiphanic revelation is that once I’ve gained some temporal distance between my work and the moment in which the work occurs, I’m generally pleased with the work itself. I’m amazed, for example, when I go back now and read reviews I wrote for DVD Verdict a few years ago, how impressive my writing was during that period. It never seemed so to me at the time.

What I need to do is eliminate the delay, and allow myself to appreciate my talents in the moment.

I suspect that when I stop editing myself on the fly, I’ll like the results much better.

I just need to go there.

Explore posts in the same categories: Narration, Reflection, Voice acting, Voiceover, Voicetrax

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