Current Project:Status: Inching forward
I’ve decided my main problem in writing is not my Internal Editor; it’s my External Editor. One of my critique partners pointed out last night that I was a technical editor for over four years. ‘Editor’ was my role and my mindset. No wonder I have trouble turning that off and finishing the damned book! (And no wonder I was driving my poor critique partners crazy with line edits!)
That’s why it took me three years to write my first First Draft. I’d learn a new piece of the craft puzzle, then go back and fix what I’d already written—in other words, EDIT. That’s also why trying to write a Textnovel and doing Nano were so good for me. Writing a First Draft at breakneck speed emphasizes to my subconscious that I am a WRITER, not an editor.
Speed sets my creative, big-picture right brain free. Revisions are the place for my dominant, analytical left-brain (affectionately known as the Big E.) to come out of the closet and do its editing thing.
Now that I know this about myself, I’m learning to keep my editor in check and stay focused on my goal of writing first drafts all the way through to the Happily Ever After. I make notes of the things I notice in passing, which helps to quiet the Big E.
If you have a Big E. attached to your identity like I do, remember that any way you can trick her into going against her nature and embracing the Stillness like this swallow (Have you noticed swallows seem to fly constantly?) is a good thing.
All's fair in love and writing!