The other day, I struggled with turning off the inner editor and just allowing myself to write. I found myself over-analyzing every word. Each sentence took so long to write because I kept deleting them as they weren’t perfect. Just write, I’d tell myself and it worked for a few paragraphs, but then I’d start hitting the backspace key like crazy because one word didn’t feel right. I think it’s great for a writer to search for the perfect word but not at the expense of the writing.
And the writing was losing out. I didn’t enjoy it. I found a multitude of reasons for getting out of the chair or switching away from the work in progress. Laundry. Email check (I have three email accounts so this process can be a huge procrastination tool). Dishes. Another email check. Another load of laundry. The worst part of this struggle was the beating I gave myself. This book is not good enough. You’ll never finish this book. You are wasting your time doing this.
That voice was hard to overcome. I started saying “This is just a draft”, every time the critical voice spoke. Drafts are to get out the ‘bad’ words, the wrong words, the imperfect ones that will change when I edit. The book always get better after I edit so to get to the better, I had to first dump out the worst. There’s nothing quite like being your own worst enemy (or I guess ‘best’ enemy in a way) and harshest critic.
Finally, the mantra wore the inner editor down and it stepped aside so I could write. I know there will be changes but getting the words on the page the first time is always the hardest for me. It’s easier to fix the words when they’re on the page rather than stuck in my head.