I asked my son for a blog topic tonight, and (after I rejected a few ideas that were quite creative, but sparked nothing in my brain), he turned back to reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and tossed over his shoulder “Write about Professor Umbridge.”
You remember Professor Umbridge? She’s the woman from the Ministry of Magic who Fudge sends to take over as Headmistress of Hogwarts, after Dumbledore escapes to avoid being tossed into Azkaban. (Who can blame him? I mean, I doubt they’d let him have any lemon drops there!) Anyway, I started thinking about Umbridge…
- Mean and nasty
- Takes pleasure in squelching creative ideas
- Fears truth
- Removes art from the walls and replaces with stupid, narrow-minded rules
- Sees the only true purpose of a pen as its ability to draw blood from the writer
- Has a shrill, prissy voice that grates on your ear & blocks out more pleasant sounds
- Makes cats look bad
- Wears way too much pink
Who is this woman? Let’s face it–she’s your worst nightmare, your inner editor!
She makes Dumbledore wince, sends Professor McGonagall into fits, tortures Harry, confuses Ron, and makes Hermoine so mad she can only sputter. And she makes us worry, slow down, or stop writing.
Luckily, in writing this character, J.K. Rowling has once again given us a gift. She has personalized our inner witch, drawn her so beautifully onto the page that we know we are allowed to hate her, to ignore her, and to send her packing. As a reader, we have no doubt that Umbridge is on the wrong side of creativity, that she doesn’t belong anywhere near Hogwarts, or that it is our Fred & George’s job to tell her off.
In other words, the next time your inner editor tries to shove her way into your writing business, unpack those fireworks (don’t forget the dragon), and set them off under her nose.
Then watch the sparks fly & get writing.
Today’s comments–how do YOU recognize your evil editor in Professor Umbridge? Add to my list, and we can all watch for the signs!