How not to self-edit your story away

You can reach your goal. It just seems dark right now, but you'll get there.

You can reach your goal. It just seems dark right now, but you’ll get there.

Or how a hillbilly buries her overly critical inner bitchy voice in the sand.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

~Maya Angelou.

We all have that inner voice. H/she has got choke opinions from the food you’re eating, where you go, and down to the slippers you buy. This Talky McTalkerton analyzes, and then reanalyzes EVERYTHING, which isn’t always a bad thing. It could be a positive when it analyzes the cost effectiveness of buying the $100 extension pack for the RPG game you love, but its purchase results in you being short on rent. It becomes a writing hazard when you have a Work In Progress you need to complete and a deadline looming uncomfortably over your head. You write stuff. Change that. Write some more. Delete it all. Write some more. Change it. Write it. Delete it. Get frustrated and watch YouTube Videos for two hours. You must break the cycle or work will never get done.

What do you do?

You just have to write. I know, I know. That sounds so lame, but it’s true. Before that WIP can be a finished masterpiece, you have to get all of the words out. Here’s some ideas for you from me, Pinky Lee.

1. The old pen and pad. Obviously, I’m pretty into taking it back old school, but it does make it a little messier to scribble/scratch out words you’ve written.

2. Writing sprints. Set a timer, giving yourself 5 minutes, then 10 mins, etc. of pure writing. During that time period, you can not use the backspace. You can’t even go back over what you read. Eventually maybe you can build up to a writing marathon of an hour or two of pure writing.

3. Use distraction-free word processors like FocusWriteryWriter or WriteMonkey. Each are pretty unique programs that help to strip down writing, and offers different features to help you to set goals and achieve them. They showcase handy features like setting alarms, spell-check and even typewriter sound features *swoon.* They’re kind of stripped down versions of other word processing systems. Added bonus: free.

4. There’s an app for that: iAWriter, WriteRoom and SimpleNotes.

Here’s some things to get you started. You can write it out and get it done. I know you can. What are some ways you shut up your inner editor? Write them down in the comments. Love hearing from you guys!

Aloha ya’ll!


Filed under revision

3 Responses to How not to self-edit your story away

  1. Pingback: The Breakfast Club: rise and shine to push your work in progress |

  2. Hey, thanks for this! I’ve been in such a writing rut. Mostly, I miss my old writing rituals back home. I’m gonna have to make some new ones here in Oahu 🙂

    • T.A. Woods

      Aloha Vashelle! It’s hard to change locales and to get your groove back–or at least it has been for me. I’m glad I can help in any small way. I’m going to be trying out some writing groups and stuff like that in the upcoming months, if you’re interested in meeting new writers let me know.

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