Sunday, May 20, 2012
Dealing with the First Editor
"But," you say, "surely this is important? I don't want to produce inferior work."
No, you don't. But the time for editing will come later, once you've finished writing the article or chapter. If you stop to listen to all the suggested corrections of your internal editor, your work will lack creativity and flow and may never get finished.
Sometimes it can be as simple as playing music or wearing headphones. Other times you need to be far more drastic. Acknowledge the presence of your inner editor, then deal with her/him.
Cecil Murphey, in his Writer to Writer blog, is polite when he deals with his inner editor. He admits that he talks aloud. “Be patient," he says. "Let me get on with this. When I finish, I’ll let you rip it apart.”
Karen Swim at Words for Hire banishes her inner critic by "physically kicking her out of the room and locking the door. I have found that acknowledging her presence and ordering her to leave is as effective as it would be on a “real” person. She is only allowed back in when I have written the first draft, and then and only then she gets to have her say."
For me, I admit it all depends on how persistent she is. Sometimes I can be firm. "Go away! I'm busy writing!" And no, I'm not polite like Cec. Other times I do what every parent knows you shouldn't do, and say, "Oh for goodness sake here!" and give in to her.
What about you? How do you deal with this nuisance who tries to correct you as you write? Please share with us by adding a comment below.
SHIRLEY CORDER lives in South Africa with her husband Rob, a hyperactive budgie called Sparky, and an ever expanding family of tropical fish. Hundreds of her inspirational and life-enrichment articles have been published internationally. She is contributing author to nine books to date and her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer is available now for pre-order at Amazon.com or at Barnes & Noble (B&N.com). You can contact Shirley through her writing website, her Rise and Soar site for encouraging those on the cancer journey, or follow her on Twitter.