Do you wrestle with your inner editor? Do your eyes wander over the last paragraph you wrote, unable to rest until you've eliminated the little red squigglys under each word? Do you find it easier to spend your precious writing time analyzing previous pages than writing new words?
It's time for a smackdown.
Your creative side loves to explore new worlds and uncharted territory. Your analytical side wants to fix everything and make it logical. Unfortunately, to do both at the same time makes for a double-minded writer.
I've gathered a great crop of resources from other writers who have tackled this issue. They haven't solved it, but some of their advice might be exactly what you need to try to keep your editor at bay--at least until your manuscript is finished and it's time to let him or her out from exile.
One thing I do when my inner editor won't keep quiet is to write in the dark. Yes, it's messy, but effective. Computer users can also choose a font color that matches your screen color so your words will be invisible, or dim your screen to black. Don't forget to save, though! If you have a desktop with a wireless keyboard, move across the room from your screen. Here are some more tips:
Mandy Houk, member of Pikes Peak Writers, shares a great visual for writers to understand what the inner editor does to our confidence.
Cassie Mae, at The Writer's Dojo, gives four practical tips for shutting off the inner editor. I really like her color idea.
Tina Radcliffe over at Seekerville, wowed me with her unauthorized cheat sheet of self-editing tips. I'll be using tip #4 to create my own 'weasel words' list.
The Nanowrimo blog has a post on
Have you found anything useful for keeping your inner editor locked up? Or is yours particularly well-behaved?