“The faster I write the better my output. If I’m going slow I’m in trouble. It means I’m pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.”
— Raymond Chandler
www.inkthinkerblog.com — How many of us have had the experience of writing so fast our fingers can barely keep up with us? And not just because we’re on deadline and don’t have a choice — that doesn’t count.
I can tell I’m writing something really good when, as Chandler said, the words are just pulling me along. But when each word is less like being pulled along than like pulling a tooth, that’s a place I don’t enjoy being.
How do you get a hold on that fast writing, to make it part of your routine and the rule rather than the exception? A valuable lesson I learned during National Novel Writing Month 2009 (NaNoWriMo ’09) is that to write well and to write fast, I have to turn off my “inner editor” — that mean little voice telling me to go back over every sentence ad nauseam before I proceed to the next. In other words, my “inner editor” is the one who tries to get me to spend my time rewriting instead of just writing.
Today, try turning off your inner editor for a while and see what happens. Write with abandon, and don’t change anything until you’ve finished. When I did this, I was surprised at the gems that came out, the glimmers that before I would have been too anal to appreciate, much less to cultivate in future drafts.
Do you believe that writer’s instinct will lead you down the right path if you just get out of your own way? Or is rewriting during the process a must for writers?
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