A Writer's Ramblings
Writing | Books | General Shenanigans
Emails Full of Writerly Fun
First drafts have exactly one job: to exist.
[click to tweet]
The number one nemesis to any writer struggling to get that draft written is your inner editor. She's got a grating voice and constantly nags you about your grammar, your sentence structures, your plot development. "Change this. Fix that. Make it better."
We all know that it's tough (or impossible) to get much done with that voice in your ear.
You write a few sentences, and then your inner editor starts getting talkative and critiquing what you just wrote—all 50 words. You go back over those sentences, rewrite them, move some commas around. Stand back and tilt your head. Scrap them altogether.
Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but even that exact situation has likely happened to every writer at one point or another. And more commonly, we allow our inner editor's nagging voice to become a source of writer's block. (No matter how you feel about the phrase, you know what I mean!) It's difficult to be creative and tell a story when you're worried about the nuts and bolts.
Coming at this from an editor's perspective: We do developmental edits before line edits. We never do high- and low-level edits at the same time. Why? It takes a different perspective to see the forest than it does to see the trees. If you try to look for both, you wind up stuck. The same thing applies to trying to edit while you draft. As writers, we need to be in an entirely different headspace to write than to edit. If you try to do both at once, you'll wind up staring at a half-written scene trying to work out the jigsaw puzzle happening in your brain.
Now that we've discussed why it's so important to silence your inner editor, watch the video below for some tips to keep her quiet!