Writing and editing. So simple. So easy. Right…
When I started writing my first book a year ago I thought that I would just sit down and write and everything would flow perfectly onto the page (what magical world was I living in?). But I learned quickly that not everything I type onto the page is great or perfect, or even close to that. I was trying to cling to the idea that I need to be constantly editing myself as I’m typing which led to some slow going and much frustration. So much frustration that I put off working on my book for awhile (a year). I made excuses like: I’m a student, I should be focusing on school, I can work on my book when I graduate- I’ll have far more time then, I’ll wait for more inspiration. But last month I decided to stop procrastinating and start writing. And at first I struggled with the same thing; I was trying to edit as I was writing. But then I found this quote (the one in the picture above this: “Write like nobody will ever read it, edit like the whole world will) and took its words to heart. Stop editing as you’re writing, Cali. Just write. The scene might not be perfect, heck, the plot might not even be going in the right direction, but at least you’re getting something onto the page. And when I’m done getting everything onto the page I’ll go back and edit like crazy.
On the other hand, I do wish I had made myself an outline before I started writing. There are days when I’m not sure what’s going to happen in this scene and how it’s going to propel the story forward. And that’s exciting, but also terrifying. If I had an outline I might be able to shave off some serious time spent blundering around in a scene trying to figure out what’s going to happen. Either way, by turning off my inner editor I’ve written more of my book in the last two weeks than I was able to in an entire year. I think having the proper motivation helps too (impending college graduation and being thrust out into the “real” world where I’ll have to get a job and contrary to my past assumption will not suddenly have tons of time to work on writing my book) as well as scheduling out specific time to work, but that’s another story.
Good luck writing and editing, everyone!