Monday, October 5, 2009

Turning off the internal editor

On Saturday my local chapter had Lisa Mondello as a guest speaker. Lisa writes for Steeple Hill Love Inspired. She talked about the different types of writers. I'm a self-proclaimed pantser and she agreed. The thing I learned is that I was probably a pantser in the first grade. Amazing. I do remember in third and fourth grade making up "dreams" and telling my friends all about them. I'd start with something we talked about recently like going to the amusement park and run with it. Now I'm sure my friends knew my dreams weren't that elaborate. If they believed then hey, maybe I was a good storyteller back then! :)

When I first started writing I believe I was a pantser with linear tendencies. What do I mean? I would write, then the next day I'd have to re-read what I wrote and edit before I could move forward. I didn't realize how crippling this process was for me, until I participated in my first NaNo two years ago. Someone told me to turn off my internal editor and just write. And I did just that. I wrote without looking back and completed over 50k that month.

I did it again last year. When it was over two of my fellow authors didn't want it to end. So we agreed to continue posting our daily counts no matter how small or large. It's worked out well so far. I've finished a lot of novellas over the last year. Maybe some day I'll edit those romantic comedies I wrote during NaNo.

I found for me turning off my internal editor makes me more productive.


  1. I need to learn how to do that. It definitely slows down the process.

  2. I've said this before: The best advice I ever received was 'don't get it right, get it written'. I'll go back and correct typos, or decide to word a phrase differently as I'm reading the previous day's work, but that's all.

    I literally stressed myself out two years ago during my first NaNo and turned into 'Evil Bitch Mom' the last two weeks. I finished the ms, but the family was ready to have me committed! So I took it easy on myself last year. Didn't finish, but at least I started one. Same for this year. Pressure's off; I've proved I can do it. Now to actually finish a ms, no matter what the word count:)

  3. I agree with you, Tina. Until I learned how to "just do it" I didn't. ;)

    As the wise man once said, you can't edit a blank page.

  4. hmmm.
    Now I am feeling stilted. Negative. Should I reject what I now learn here is my linear pantser style?
    Out on a limb.
    Tettering on a ledge.
    How the hell do I do the non-linear thingie and not write crap????