Jane the Virgin binging sessions are the go-to bonding spots for my teenage daughter and me. On Sunday nights, you will find us excitedly balancing our dinners after homework is done and the house is kinda sorta cleaned for the weekend.

I love “Jane.” It’s not just that Jane is a writer trying to make it–and then does–but not really…or that she worries and overthinks. We love that Jane is smart, openly “judgy” (and here I distinguish between “judgy” shallow and “judgy” conscience; Jane is firmly the latter) deeply loving and real.

>But the part of Jane the Virgin I want to conjure as my muse for writers this week is one of her “personas” (and she has many!) that you might recognize inside of you,  Jane’s inner critic.  

One exercise I’ve done at workshops is to ask participants to write a love letter to their inner critic. My reasoning is that in our pursuit to be free flowing we might think we need to slam the door on our finger-wagging inner critic without first recognizing any of their good traits.  Of course, sometimes we really should brush our inner critics off as in the scene below where Jane’s glass-on-tip-of-nose critic goes for the jugular and calls herself a fraud for no good reason. On the other hand, as Jane discovers, critics can balance and stretch us.

So, this week, think about the cynical critic inside of you? Where should you brush them off? And where should you roll your sleeves up and thank them?