How to Silence Your Inner Editor – and an Update on Writing with a Chromebook

Now, I normally do not blog on Sundays, but because I’ve gotten a little behind in blogging, I felt today needed to be an exception. So, greetings!

Today we’re going to have two blog posts in one. How fun!

Silencing the Inner Editor

We all have to deal with this. That sneaky little voice that slithers about in our brain and tells us one of two things – 1, that our writing is horrible, or 2, that sentence you just wrote is something a three-year-old would write.

Number One has no place in your brain. Erase it. Number Two, well, it has its place. But that place is NOT while your writing your first draft, and maybe not even your second.

Our Inner Editor can be difficult to silence, in part because some people will believe they need to edit as they go along. MYTH! NO! Do not edit while you’re writing UNLESS it’s your second or third draft and you are rewriting. That said, let me clarify. When you are rewriting, you are, in a sense, editing. So edit the previous draft, don’t edit the one you’re currently writing.

That’s the responsibility of the next draft.

See how vicious that cycle is? Beware of writing too many drafts before you decide enough is good enough.

Anyway, I do have some advice on silencing the Inner Editor, and it’s a technique I discovered during NaNoWriMo last year. I think NaNo has a June or July edition coming up, so if you’re one of the people taking part, this might be just the right time for you to hear this.

SET A DEADLINE

This might seem a little surprising if you’ve never experienced the stress and the relief of a deadline. Stress because it can be, well, stressful, and relief because I’ve found that my Inner Editor can’t rear its head when I know – completely know – that when writing on a deadline, the condition of the draft doesn’t matter much. What matters is the deadline. So, Inner Editor, relax.

Don’t set a random deadline. It should be challenging, but doable. And not too monstrous, unless you have some reliable people alongside to keep you going. 🙂

Like NaNoWriMo.

Still, I have found that a writing deadline/goal really helps me to focus on the task, NOT on my biased opinion of what poor writing looks like. We authors are the worst judges of our own work, believe me.

 

Writing on my Chromebook

So, on the subject of the Chromebook, some of you may remember I purchased one a couple months ago. It’s awesome. Not just for writing (like this blog post), but also for short Internet searches when I don’t want to fire up the computer.

But . . . one bit of my opinion has changed since I first announced the Chromebook.

I won’t use it for novel writing.

Editing? Yes. Short stories? Absolutely. But novels? No. Why?

Because I’ve used a Alphasmart Neo 2 word processor for so long, I completely adapted to the small, dim screen, and now I find myself incurably distracted by a large, bright screen. So, after juggling with this for a while, I switched back to the Neo. Now everyone’s happy. 🙂 It’s probably completely mental, but, hey, if I can get in the “zone” on a Neo, then on a Neo I shall write.

Isn’t that profound? 😉

 

And there y’all have it! But let’s chat. Have you used a simple word processor or a Chromebook? What are your techniques for silencing your inner editor? Let’s talk in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “How to Silence Your Inner Editor – and an Update on Writing with a Chromebook

  1. Hey Hannah! I have never used a simple wordprocessor of really any type, I just use the computer or occasionally my iPad (but that’s harder to type on). And my techniques for silencing my inner editor… I share my stories with people. Like, paragraphs at a time. That way I don’t edit until a full draft is written, because editing along the way would mean having to tell those friends that I’m editing and changing stuff… and that would be hard for me. Thus, I don’t edit as I write.

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    1. Excellent technique! Thank you for sharing, Hope.

      Prior to getting a word processor, I did all my writing on the computer as well. So, it is a little odd that I now have a hard time with the large screen, since that used to be all I had to write on. 😉

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      1. And also, sharing your story as it unfolds is a great way to build confidence, at least in my opinion. I get super nervous sharing my work with ANYONE, so that’s great that you can do that on your blog. 🙂

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