Sunday, September 13, 2015

Writing Tip #1: Do Not Edit As You Go

Before you start setting writing goals or anything else involved with writing, the first and foremost thing to remember is "Do Not Edit As You Go."

When I'm writing in a frenzy trying to get my ideas onto the page, the thing that will break my rhythm faster than anything is if I am a thousand words in for the day and find myself thinking about the red underlined word that I misspelled in my first sentence.  If I go back and correct just that one word, I am done for the day.  I will obsess about every error I just made and that lowers my confidence.

Editing happens later.  All mistakes can be fixed in future drafts.  Don't worry about whether or not that sentence fits.  If you need to add it to a different paragraph, it would actually be better to just write the remainder of the paragraph.  And if it bothers you that much, rewrite the sentence again in the new paragraph.  You can delete the displaced sentence later.

The absolutely most time-consuming issue related to writing is editing.  And for you to get the progress you need to build a long work, you don't need anything to slow you down or discourage you.  Just write it, move on and fix it later.

~Will

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