Monday, January 30, 2012

Internal Editor

It is perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly.
C. J. Cherryh
Now this has happened to all of us writers at one time or another in our writing career. We open our workspace (document) to write, begin writing, and see a typo or something else that catches our eye, we go back to fix it and do that down the entire page, and realize the entire five hundred words were led by...our internal editor.

As much as I hate to admit it, editing has hindered my writing on more than one occasion. I don’t just mean a proofreading of my work; finding the misplaced comma, grammatical errors, typos and such. I mean editing to where I rewrite a sentence, place a more heavily understood metaphor in its place; trashing an entire sentence and rewriting it to where it looks and sounds right. This has been me on more than one occasion.

I’m here to tell you to shut it off!!! You can not get anything accomplished if you’re always looking back over your shoulder to see the trail (mess) that you leave behind. We must always look ahead and embrace whatever we must at that place in time. Writing is like the long journey which we trek down in life; we’re always doubting, shaking our head, often trying to fix the wrongs and make them right, and how successful was THAT? Impossible!

As writers we always try to fix the wrongs as we’re writing and that is just plain futile! It gets you nowhere and certainly doesn’t keep you writing. I’ll let you in on a little secret. It might not be a secret, maybe all writers have found this morsel as they grow as a writer.

1. Open your document and turn spellcheck off!!!
2. Start writing and DON’T look up at the screen!
3. Don’t stop until you feel that you’ve hit 500 words, AT LEAST!

Okay, now you can look up at the mess, I mean writing. If this is enough writing for you. Stop and fix. If you’re writing a short story, look back down at the keys and begin writing again, another five hundred words. Keep doing this until you’re done for the day and you’ve accomplished what you came for.

Don’t allow your internal editor to tell you what to do! Too often we listen to others around us or that small voice inside, and we’re ready to listen to it too, because we always think it to be right. Well I’m here to tell you the truth. Nine times out of ten, that voice is wrong and just wants to confuse you and lead you astray. Know anyone like that?

I grew up in a household full of negativity and had to teach myself how to break free from that scary inner voice and listen to the one true voice that God gave me. One Voice- one truth. Remember that! As you’re writing and the voice says, ‘that’s no good! You stink.’ Turn it around and repeat after me, ‘MY WORK IS GOOD! Not GREAT BUT GOOD!!!’

As you continue to feed a positive affirmation to the mix, the negative voice sounds like a muffled taped-mouth voice! Eventually ONE VOICE will win, and it won’t be that lackey the internal editor!


LdyKreations said...

I'm so so sooooooooooooo guilty of this and constantly trying to make it "perfect" the first time through.

Great advice as usual, Angel Hawk <3

joni said...

Thank you Eagle Lady! <3

Just think how much we'd get done if we turned the Internal Editor off! ;)