Monday, November 9, 2009

When The Going Gets Tough

The tough keep typing.

Right about now, it's getting harder to write. I think this is what they were talking about when I read No Plot, No Problem. There comes a time in your writing process where you have to let go and quit trying to make your story perfect, because if you don't, you won't finish the 50,000 words in a month.

Meanwhile, your inner editor is screaming at you from Cabo San Lucas, and she's really upset because she keeps on losing her cell phone signal. But that mental telepathy hitch hikes a ride on the jet stream and gets to you anyway. "GO BACK AND FIX THAT HIDEOUS PARAGRAPH ON PAGE THREE! AND THAT'S JUST THE BEGINNING!"

That's what inner editors are for, of course. They like to fix all the inconsistencies and continuity errors. They know you have great stuff in you, and they just want the best to come out. Your inner editor needs to know the secret to first drafts:

For everything there is a season.

Now, to be honest, I did allow my inner editor to do a tiny bit. It was hard for me to go on when there were some little tweaks that I knew would help out the story because of the foreshadowing they created. Since they only added to my word count, I went back and added them. But still, they slowed me down, and in my nicely consistent progression, they are a jog in the chart.

My plan for the rest of the month is to keep my notebook at hand and make notes about changes and additions for a later time. This should assuage my inner editor and keep me chalking up my daily 2000, enabling me to enjoy a pressure-free Thanksgiving Day before resuming any necessary writing. And then, in December, I plan to give my inner editor a one way ticket back from the land of fun and sun to the biting winds of Chicago. Because when it comes to writing first drafts, there's something that I know as well:

And this too shall pass.

P.S. Yes, Christine, in response to your comment, it would be a distinct advantage to be able to type over 100 words per minute, but I believe the biggest issues for a writer is not in how fast they can type, but rather in how fast they can compose the story. (Which is probably why Dwight blew us away in the write-in.)


  1. I never pushed the exile the inner editor button in the, No Plot, No Problem book.

    Mostly I am ignoring him, but when I have time to spare I consult him. Less work for December.

    I'm mainly just enjoying the ride!

  2. Ha! I banished my inner editor to Siberia. No fun in the sun for him! He can't get a cell phone signal for over a hundred miles in every direction and he's so busy trying to stay warm and fed he doesn't have any time to waste trying to send any telepathic signals.

  3. He's going to come back with icicles hanging from his nose. You know, he might resent it just a tiny bit since you're in sunny Houston right now.