Is your Internal Editor friend or foe?
It can be both.
When we’re in the midst of revisions, the Internal Editor is our ally. But when we’re pouring forth a rough draft, we don’t need that critical voice hampering our creativity.
An over-eager Internal Editor is one of Twelve Troublemakers that plagues me as a writer. I’m exploring one a week. This is the fourth the series.
Creativity needs free rein.
I’m in the early stages of planning my next book. This past weekend, my wonderfully supportive hubby and resident plotting partner and I spent several hours brainstorming ideas. Watching a story evolve was exciting.
In the near future, I’ll begin writing my first draft. When I do, it will be important to let the words flow freely. There will be plenty of time for editing later, and I’ll gladly welcome the assistance of my Internal Editor.
For now, I have to evict Eagle Eye, not an easy task for a recovering perfectionist like me.
Here are six strategies that can help silence the Internal Editor.
- Work fast.
- Embrace the joy of creation.
- Adopt an “anything goes” philosophy.
- Have a goal of getting words on the page.
- Resist the urge to read what’s already written.
- Remember that there will be time to edit later.
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When do we release the Internal Editor? The answer will vary from one writer to the next.
For those who work best by remaining in the zone, forging ahead is key. For others, like me, who prefer to edit as we go, making an intentional shift from creative mode to editing mode can help.
I write on screen during the day and edit on hard copy in the evening. When I’m at the keyboard, I use the strategies above. When I work on printed pages, I make notes by hand. Separating the tasks this way helps me switch from writing to revising and back again.
I’m the first to admit I don’t have this down. There are days when my Internal Editor casts a critical eye over my story during the creative stage and I have to bind and gag the intruder, shove it outside my office, and shut the door.
* * *
Making Wise Use of Your Internal Editor . . . and a Drawing
How do you silence your Internal Editor while writing your first drafts?
When do you invite your Internal Editor out to play?
One person who leaves a comment and answers one of these questions will win the eagle pictured above. If you don’t have a use for this cute little Folkmanis finger puppet, you could always share it with a child or grandchild.
I’ll hold the drawing Sunday, March 6th and post the winner’s name in the post published the next day, when I’ll introduce the next of the Twelve Troublemakers.
Yammers, the Yakkity Yak from last Monday’s drawing went to Tamika Eason.