Monday, January 10, 2011

My Inner Editor

So I have this plan. A goal. One that I thought would be easy to keep up with.

My goal is to write something everyday. Whether it be one page or ten, I want to write every single day. What's the problem you ask?

That little voice that won't shut-up for five minutes. Yes, my inner editor.
I'm so excited that the ideas for my new ms are flowing freely right now and I want to make as much headway as possible before the self doubt sets in. But every time I sit down at the laptop, the editor begins to rant.

I'm so picky that I find myself rereading sentences and picking apart descriptions at every turn. The perfectionist in me wants to constantly check word choice and the fluency of each and every sentence. As you very well know this tends to throw a kink in the progression of one's writing.

But I managed to find a way around this little problem. It was a fluke really. I simply put my laptop away. I put it away and pulled out a clean notebook and my favorite purple pen. I know crazy right? But it works.

Now whenever I get a few spare minutes I write. I write and I don't even think about that pesky little editor that taunts me to go back and fix something that might be a little less than perfect. Why exactly this works I cannot begin to explain, maybe it's that blinking cursor or the empty document page staring back at me that cause my mind to freeze up when I use my computer. But writing long hand is working and for the moment I'm just going with it.

Scribbling away in my notebook has released some of the pressure and makes writing a little bit each day much more attainable and enjoyable. I now remember why I started writing again in the first place. It really is the best outlet for stress and I do love it.

So do you have an inner editor taunting away as you try to write? How do you silence yours?

29 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

I ignore the inner editor as much as I can. But I do read about a lot of writers using a notebook and pen because it gives their brain time to think before it's time to write. :)

salarsenッ said...

I typed a sign and it's on desk. It reads: Internal Editor - SHUT UP! It's almost like I needed permission to yell at myself. It helps me to keep moving forward.

Hannah Kincade said...

The only way I can ignore my inner editor is just write as fast as possible and never re-read anything...at least, until I'm ready to do some editing. Seriously, it's the only way. I did not read anything during NaNo, I think that's the only reason why I finally won. Eek, good luck.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

My internal editor's there, but she's pretty good at keeping quiet most of the time. :)

I suck at writing in a notebook. Oh wait! It's my writing that sucks when I write in a notebook.

Ellie said...

I was half way through reading your post and was going to say in my comments, 'ditch the laptop and use pen and paper.' But you've discovered that already!

It really does beat the pesky inner editor. LOL.

ketch1714 said...

I generally just have to keep telling myself that this is the first draft - a time to get the story down and edit later. I know I'll be coming back to correct sentences and grammar. But, when that doesn't work out, I also grab a notebook or journal and my favorite pen (which is purple :) ).
Happy Writing!!

Quinn said...

This is exactly what I had to do when I wrote my first book. For some reason, writing by hand was just a lot easier. I didn't write by hand to quiet my inner editor though. Staring at a blank document on the computer intimidated me I think.

LTM said...

yep! and at first it was almost impossible to shut her off. But somehow I did. I wish I could tel you how. I thin it was just determined focus on finishing the story. Of course, then I have a few "rushed" scenes... Run from internal editor! ;p best of luck~

Lydia K said...

Pen and paper? That's so...genius. And vintage, ha ha!
My inner editor has been causing me to really slow down. So irritating!

Amparo Ortiz said...

My inner editor SUCKS. But I've managed to ignore it pretty well during this WIP. I've been writing really slow lately, though, and I think it's because of it :D

Best of luck with your writing goal!!

Becky Taylor said...

So wonderful that you found a way to trick yourself into shutting up your editor. I, personally, can't write in longhand to save my life--too slow. But to shut up my editor, I listen to classical music while I write. I usually have to sit for about 5 minutes just listening and staring at where I left off and then--I write one sentence, and then one more, and before I know it I've caught a wave.

Also, when I finish a section, I jot a few ideas in red font for where I want to pick up next time I sit down.

Chris Phillips said...

captain morgan works, but there's more to edit.

Lisa Gail Green said...

I just tell the B*%$ to "Shut up! I'm trying to write!" he he he. :D Seriously though, I'm glad you found something that works. Everyone is so different. I usually just force my way through it, then when I read it back another day it isn't as bad as I think. And if my editor is really nagging me? I give in and go back and fix whatever it is, and it usually makes the rest flow much more easily.

Kimberly Franklin said...

My inner editor is relentless. It's very annoying sometimes. Good luck to you! :)

The Golden Eagle said...

My inner editor is singing away at this point whenever I try writing--and even when I'm just thinking about my story.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Yay for 10 page goals! My internal editor is a picky little madam, but I try to reign her in if I'm on a first draft. I let her free for draft 2. LOL.

Matthew Rush said...

My solution is usually this (and I owe this to old Will Faulkner): Write drunk, edit sober. I'm mostly kidding, bet seriously, a little buzz can help me relax and not be so uptight about getting it perfect the first time.

Janet Johnson said...

I am so much free-er to write with pen and paper! It's crazy, but hey, if it works . . . :)

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm getting better at ignoring my inner shreiker - she can be so annoying :)

Abby Minard said...

OMG, that is so me. That's why it took me a year and a half to write my book! I wish I could write it down in a notebook, but I have this pesky arthritis/joint problem and it hurts too bad to write with a pen :( But I try very hard to crank it out on my laptop and not care about editing as I go...doesn't work very well, but with my next ms, I swear I'll finish in 6 months!

Vatche said...

Fantastic post, Renae! I think my inner editor always comes out at the wrong time, but I've found a way of knowing when to edit and when to not.

I usually first write in my little notebook or on a scratch of paper, then I type it up on the computer. After finishing the work, I print it out and edit. Then, when that part of the piece is done, I start the cycle over again.

It's worked for me several times before, so I guess you should continue doing your thing until it stops working.

Write on!

Sondrae Bennett said...

I have to occasionally kick my inner editor away when she starts yacking at me but it works for me...usually.

Nikki said...

Writing daily is a great goal - I need to start that too!

Justine Dell said...

I don't have a little editor inside, thank goodness. That would drive me mad. Writing is freeing for me, so I don't allow myself to worry about anything but writing until the book is done. I can work on all those edits after-the-fact. ;-)

~JD

DL Hammons said...

I can't function without my inner-editor! In fact I'll probably edit this comment five times before I hit send. People say that letting your inner-editor have its way squashes creativity. BUNG!! It may force it to be more patient, but I don't feel constrained by it at all. But that's just me. :)

Jessica said...

My inner editor seems like a whisper when I write compared to when I try to draw or create something else. That's one of the reasons I started writing in the first place. When it does become a nag, I usually go edit something and put it to good use.

ketch1714 said...

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Congratulations–you won the Stylish Blogger award! Check out my blog for details.

Lisa said...

Yes! All the time! I like to get something perfectly right before I move on, but now I realize I have to be content with good enough when it comes to a first draft.

I can always go back and over and make changes. Sometimes that saves more time than trying to get a scene perfect on the first try (I might end up having to delete or change the whole thing later anyhow!).

Diane J. said...

I have to agree the pen and paper silence my editor...well almost. I will do a few chicken scratches when I misspell a word. I think the paper and pen help because to go back and recorrect is much too difficult. That little cursor makes it so much easier to correct errors, LOL.

Glad you found a way to let the writing flow.