Friday, October 14

5 Ways to Ignore Your Inner Editor

As I dive back into writing the first draft of A Highlander's Ransom, I am once again faced with the dreaded inner editor. You all know what/who I'm talking about. That little voice in the back of your mind that makes scathing comments at every word choice, plot point, and sentence structure you make.

Yeah, that little b*tch. I forgot how awful she can be; sometimes I just want to kick her ass. I don't think there's an easy way to deal with her, but there are a few things you can do to ignore her.
  1. Invest in a pair of good headphones: I can't tell you how beneficial this has been for my own writing. I don't know why, but music can help me block out my inner editor. It doesn't always work, but it certainly helps.
  2. Have a good alpha reader: An alpha reader is someone who reads your story while you're still writing it. Their job is to provide quick feedback and to address the larger elements of the story, such as pacing, tension, and character arcs. Not everyone uses an alpha reader, but I love mine. Sometimes, I just need to find out whether or not I'm going in the right direction. With the inner editor screaming obscenities at me, it's always nice to find out what others think of the story.
  3. Take a break: It can be difficult to step back and take a break, but sometimes it's the best choice. Go read a book, watch a movie, or hang out with your friends/family. When you're feeling a bit better, you can step back into the ring. Your inner editor might still be there, but it'll be easier to deal with her.
  4. Just keep writing.... I know, I know. This is easier said than done, but it's true. The only way to get through a slump is to keep writing. It seems impossible at first, but it can be done. Eventually, your inner editor will get the hint and shut up until revision time. Don't worry about what's on the page. Just write. Everything can be edited later.
  5. Keep sweets nearby:  If all else fails, indulge in your favourite treat. Mine happens to be ice cream. It doesn't help get rid of your inner editor, but it's one tasty way to cope with her.
So there you go, 5 easy ways to dealing with your inner editor. Like I said, we're all afflicted with one, but that doesn't mean we should let them rule our lives.

Have you found anything else that works for you?

8 comments:

  1. If only my internal editor would stick to editing, things would be okay. Mine moonlights as a ninja character assasin, and leads the committee in my head.

    I need an internal Navy SEAL to hunt her down and eliminate her.

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  2. Teri- LOL! Mmmm, an internal Navy SEAL. That could almost be worse than having a ninja character assasin. Id be too busy staring at him in my head, lmao.

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  3. Teri Anne - LOL. Well said!

    Natalie - Our internal editors could be related...mine's also a real b**ch. She drives me nuts! Music and breaks help me ignore her pesky inner voice.

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  4. Jena- It must be because we both write historical romance *nods*

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  5. Music works for me. Loud music. My editor only comes out when it's quiet or semi-quiet.

    Have a great weekend.

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  6. Medeia- Yeah, music seems to work for a lot of people =) I hope you have a good weekend too!

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  7. Taking a break is my best medicine. It's like a breath of fresh air.

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  8. Melissa- Thats good. So many writers refuse to take breaks--a dumb move on tehir part, IMO.

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