Dear Story Nurse,
My internal critic is particularly nasty: I usually can’t even get started with writing a draft before I’ve convinced myself that the entire premise is bad and I give up on it altogether.
My inner critic’s attacks on my work rarely take the form of “this is awful/nobody would ever want to read this,” instead they take the form of “this is hurtful/exploitative and you’re a bad person for even coming up with this idea in the first place.”
Another intrusive thought I get a lot is “by writing anything at all you’re taking space away from people whose stories deserve to be told more than yours, because they’re more marginalized than you are.”
This prevents me even from writing stories that are mostly autobiographical, because I know that there are people who’ve had it harder than me that I’m hurting by writing this.
I guess my question is, how do I push past this particular type of internal criticism and actually get a draft written?
I’m really glad you found a way around your inner critic to write to me. That tells me how important writing is to you, and also tells me that you are able to do things for your own benefit and for the benefit of your writing. That’s essential; when all else fails, come back to that core knowledge that you value yourself more than you value the critic’s opinions.