Saturday, August 28, 2010

Inner Editor...QUIET PLEASE!

Is your inner editor anything like mine?

Right now, she's peering over my shoulder and staring at my wip on the screen. She's poking at me, trying to convince me to hit delete over and over again. She's such a nag, and I really must get rid of her.

I have plans for my inner editor: they involve duct tape, a shovel, and the national forest. Here are some other ideas for how to handle our inner editors.

I've plotted, I've planned, and I'm working hard to get the first draft of my story down. I know the clunky bits can be fixed in revision, so why am I trying to make things perfect? According to this, my inner editor is trying to protect me. She's only allowed to protect me after I've finished my first draft!

Does your inner editor pester you while you're writing? If so, how do you kick it to the curb until you're ready for it?

photo credit: flickr

38 comments:

  1. Yes, I still have moments when that wretched editor gets in the way, but a quick dose of N.L.P. on the ipod usually sends it away! Hugs..

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  2. Ugh, my terrible inner editor! She constantly overstays her welcome, haha. Listening to music helps drown out her noise.

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  3. Yup my IE can drive me batty. I'm currently on my 6th or 7th version of the opening scene for a new wip. I do let the IE yell right now because I want the feel and the voice right. After this scene is strong enough I'll borrow some of that duct tape :)

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  4. The best thing I do w/my IE is to tell it "Not Yet". The time will come when I'll invite both my IE & the other force, my Intuition, to the writing table... But, first, give me time and wait your turn.

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  5. Julie..I send my inner editor on a long holiday when I write the first draft as she is quite a nag and constantly irritates me.

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  6. Julie, yes! It's hard to tune out while we're writing. I haven't figured out how to cram it back in its box until I'm ready for it :) Let me know if you find the secret!

    Marissa

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  7. My inner editor never leaves me either. I have to stuff my ears with cotton to get rid of her :-(

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  8. I write everything down so the IE knows I won't forget. Then, she leaves me alone;)

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  9. Oh you are HYSTERICAL!! I'm all for the duct tape plan.

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  10. This time around, I told my inner editor she'd have her chance in another round. This was my sh**ty first draft and I wanted it to be exactly that. She sat in another room and sulked over her tea, but at least she was in the other room and I could just create.

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  11. Yes, my inner editor hangs around when I'm writing the first draft but I don't mind. Because my inner editor is Leo di Caprio. And sometimes Johnny Depp, depending on what I'm writing.

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  12. Hey, Julie. It is interesting to read all of the comments and how each is a bit different in approach and treatment of their inner editors. Mine usually stands back and allows the rough stuff to remain as long as there is a diamond there...somewhere. Should there be nothing precious in a paragraph, usually the two of us can see it immediately.
    The wrestling bewteen my inner editor and I does not begin until the editing stage. If it was up to him, we would never be finished. At some point I have to decide that his services will no longer be required until the next project.
    P.S.: Haven't forgotten about your prize from Wicked Writers. Still waiting to hear back from my publisher about the discount code. Hopefully soon.
    --Jimmy

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  13. I hate those inner demons, I mean editors. :) If I am really struggling with a piece I'll try setting it aside and working on something else. Lead that editor down a different path and keep it distracted so I can work on what I really want without hitting the delete button a million times.

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  14. Yes, mine does. I am in a battle with it as I'm trying to really make my voice come out and it is hard when it says no, you can't do that!

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  15. I sometimes itch to revise, but not edit when I draft. I rarely go back. So, my inner editor knows her place.

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  16. My inner editor just went "You know, I think this will work MUCH better in present tense" so I am slaving over revisions now. Normally she is pretty tame though.

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  17. Oh, the inner editor can be especially dangerous when it comes like a little evil devil and strikes when you are the weakest, impulsive and overemotional.

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  18. I feed my inner editor chocolate. It's the only thing that shuts her up.

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  19. Oh my inner editor is constantly on alert. It can be annoying, but sometimes it's a good thing. Makes the first draft that much less sucky. ;) She can get in the way of forward progress though...

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  20. I'm dealing with this right now. I can't shut up my I.E. Can't do it. So I'm going with the flow and letter her attack my writing here and there. I just hope this means less editing later.

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  21. It's nice to know I'm not the only one with a nagging inner editor! Thanks for your tips, guys. I need them!

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  22. My I.E. is a "bee-atch!" Unfortunately she is in cahoots with the Inner Procrastinator and that brat is winning out right now. I try to find something else to do that's productive. Something necessary that I might have planned to do another time. That way at least if the writing isn't done, the plotting is done, or the laundry is done. Then I can get into the writing when my head is in the game.

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  23. Jeannie, it's nice that you have a plan B for when that inner editor takes over!

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  24. Julie, I'm going to try the duct tape and shovel on mine. Or send her out to do the grocery shopping while I work. Thanks for the post!

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  25. Yes, I have troubles keeping my inner editor quiet until she's needed. I'm still working on this one. Great post!

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  26. My inner editor bothers me a lot about EVERYTHING. Sometimes I feel like getting rid of her all together, but she and I both know we need each other for my story to work out.
    When my inner editor is really driving me crazy while I'm trying to write something I make a note of what she's saying and then I try to set what she's saying aside.
    In all truth, though, we all need to keep our inner editor close by. Our inner editor will never give up on our story. They will remind us to keep trying.
    Good post, Julie. Best of luck writing the first draft of your book. Trust me when I say it's going to change many times over. Of course, you already know that, don't you?

    Happy writing,
    Lindsey
    P.S. If you ever need to be rescued like I needed to be yesterday, just email me and let me know:)

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  27. I don't think my inner editor pesters me enough. That's why I am so grateful for my writer's group.

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  28. My inner editor is the part of me that wants to be perfect on my first try!

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  29. I love the idea of duct tape. Off to the hardware store.

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  30. We all have to shut that voice off!

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  31. My inner muse is always trying to kick my inner editor's butt....and still she keeps coming back...grrr.

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  32. My inner editor doesn't just pester me, she harasses me! I'm seriously thinking about getting a restraining order. haha. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my struggles with an inner nagging voice.

    By the way, you won the signed copy of Faithful by Janet Fox over on my blog. When you get a chance, please email me your address so Janet can ship the book to you at amy@amyholder.com

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  33. My inner editor has the same 4 words as I type : "You are joking, right?"

    Which means I have to go back and look at it through the cruel eyes of an eye-sore editor.

    Sigh. Inner editors. They're cruel muses.

    Thanks for the comments on my blog, Roland

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  34. I know, it can be really hard! Sometimes, we get so bogged down with editing, it can be hard to pick up the pen and write fresh material. What I try to do, is write something, turn the page over facing downwards and I don't pick it back up again, until the entire draft is finished. Then at least I can nit-pick my way through the first draft.

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  35. I have the same problem! Sometimes I rewrite the same sentence repeatedly in the first draft even when I know my time would be better used getting the thoughts out on paper first, then editing. Good luck - I hear a glass of wine sometimes quiets the inner editor in the evening:-)

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  36. Ahhh, we all struggle with the balance between getting the first draft down and wanting perfection. *sigh*

    Thanks for your thoughts, everyone. I truly appreciate your comments!

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  37. It's my belief with practice, we can quiet the IE in us. Well that and a stack of Post-Its close by. ;)

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