The Care and Feeding of Your Assassin-Self

While so stealthy as to avoid a listing in Wikipedia, the assassin-self nevertheless runs wild when creatives are present.  The ratio is sometimes as great as 1:1.

For those who have had an assassin-self appear by their desk, or, worse, in public, with sour looks of pity and greasy sussurations of “not good enough,” and “shouldn’t even try,” a friend of mine* proposed the following regimen of care and feeding.


  • Swift curb kicks and regular repetition of “this doth not suck.”
  • Earplugs (for you)
  • Continuing to write.


  • Don’t.

What are your methods for dealing with the assassin-self?


*with many thanks, as always


  1. YES. I call this “doubtmonsters”, but “assassin-self” is another wonderful way to name it.

    I agree with all your “Care”. I also find it helpful sometimes to consult with a trusted friend – someone who knows my work, knows how writing works, and does honest incisive critique, and who can TELL me in no uncertain terms that my writing self, as a whole, “doth not suck”. When someone else says it to me, it feels real, and not just like the latest in a series of self-help mantras. YMMV, though, I can be alarmingly codependent at times!

    • Ada– absolutely. The most reliable method I’ve found is asking someone else to tell me “it doesn’t suck!” Even when they haven’t read it and have absolutely no basis for saying that, hearing it from outside my own head helps me power through it.

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