Do you wrestle with your inner editor? Do your eyes wander over the last paragraph you wrote, and you can't rest until you've eliminated the little red squiggly under the word you mistyped? Is 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 schizophrenic writer.
I've gathered a bunch of resources from other writers who have tackled this issue. Maybe they haven't solved it, but some of the 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. 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, new president 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.
I'm so glad I found the 101 Smackdown blog. Authors Clare X. Gailey and Jacquelyn B. Fletcher focus on keeping the editor quiet (until it's needed). The interview with author Kate DiCamillo was really encouraging. DiCamillo has one surefire tip that keeps her inner editor from taking over.
Andy Shack has a two-pronged approach to marking your manuscript when he notices something in need of change so he can keep writing and come back later with his editor in tow. I think his idea is worth a try.
Joe Williams at Procrastinating Writer boils down the inner editor problem to a writer's lack of self-confidence. He lists six tips for staying confident to thwart the inner editor blues.
Have you found anything useful for keeping your inner editor locked up? Or is yours particularly well-behaved?