Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Inner Editor

Winner!

Congratulations to Lisa Ricard Claro, the winner of  A Path Less Traveled by Cathy Bryant.  Thanks to all who participated!


The Inner Editor

I was planning an upcoming post to discuss our internal editor, and to see how my writing friends write and edit. Lo and behold, Monday's post, Straight Furrows, generated a few comments along those lines. We're so in tune, you anticipated my next series of questions! No actually, the topic of straight furrows tied in well. Here are a few of your thoughts:

Jennifer Shirk likes to "do editing as I write. Every time I start a new day of writing I go back and re-read what I wrote the day before and usually will end up chopping a lot or tightening sentences."

I like how Linda O'Connell brings nature into play. " I am now at a point where I edit as I go, then once again when I reread. Think of your writing as a flowering bush that requires pruning."

"When I start out on a project I try and make it as clear and polished as I can," says Lindsey Edwards. "Of course I always straighten it out in the end."

So, About That Editor

Does the inner editor hinder us from getting the good words out and letting things flow? If it does, how do we shut it down? Or wait, do we want this sometimes tyrannical, annoying editor to spout off ideas?

Malinda Lo offers suggestions in this post when she defines the difference between the inner editor and the inner critic. Ah, so maybe we're getting it all wrong, and our critic is disguising as an editor. Or vice versa.

Jon Morrow, Associate Editor of Copyblogger, suggests writing a letter to your internal editor. By confronting it, he says, we might shut it down. Well, if not, it makes a good writing prompt...

Wordplay's K.M. Weiland says that we battle this editor because we don't know how to utilize him/her properly. Her post, Embrace Your Inner Editor, explains that we need to turn the "diatribes into lessons for improvement." So if you can't beat 'em, join 'em?

Sometimes I arm wrestle with my inner editor. And sometimes she's off somewhere taking a nap (and I'm totally jealous). It depends on what I am writing. I would however, prefer to call a peaceful truce and work with her, utilizing the benefits and meeting the challenges of the grouchy moments. I am interested in more of your input. Anyone else arm wrestling? Or napping?

 
Awards

Rachna Chhabria, of Rachna's Scriptorium kindly passed along the Helping Hand award. Thank you, Rachna! I appreciate it. Rachna's blog offers her insight on writing. She's always got a great conversation going.



At Trying to Get Over the Rainbow, Jules is spreading love and appreciation for her followers with the Pass The Love 2011 Award. Jules and I both live in KY, and connected through blogging. I enjoy her perspective on writing and life. Thanks, Jules!

I'm going to do as Rachna and Jules did, and pass these along to you. Thanks to all of you for lending me a hand, and for being a wonderful and friendly support system!

Contest at Lisa's

Lisa Ricard Claro is having a February Giveaway over at Writing in the Buff. She's celebrating followers and other fun stuff, complete with three great prizes. If you head over and follow, please tell her I sent you. We both gain more entries that way. :)

So tell me, how do you deal with your inner editor? Is it a problem? Does he/she rest quietly while you write, or chatter and fuss until you listen?

Happy weekend,
Karen


Photo credit: Dsoons http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1319321

34 comments :

  1. Hi Karen! First of all, congrats to Lisa! She's one of my blog buddies and such a great writer and friend. As far as my inner editor goes....I edit as I go along...to a point. After it gets to where I think it's about 80% "submit-able", I print it and head to the family room couch, with my handy dandy clicky pencil. As soon as I stretch out and begin to read it, I'm crossing out words, inserting others, etc. I always write very short chapters or stories at a time, so that's always worked for me!

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  2. Thanks for the links! I often want to edit as I write, which sometimes slows down the process. Doesn't help that I type really slow, either.

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  3. Great links, Karen. I have the urge to write as I go, but on first drafts, I resist it and write. Writing freely takes me places I never dreamed the story would go. Then when it's time to revise, I invite Ms. Inner Editor for coffee. (She's a freeloader, too. Eating all my chocolate. Humph.)

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  4. Great links Karen.

    My inner editor can slow me down to the point of losing confidence in my writing . . . so I tell my inner editor to take a break while I write my fiction. If I get stuck, then I brainstorm, and let my inner editor choose something from that list, and them I'm off writing again.

    I prefer to edit my fiction a few days to a few months after I've written it. I have a clearer head, and my inner editor is a little less snippy at that point.

    My poetry, well . . . I usually start editing it within a few hours of writing, and the process keeps going for weeks to months of time over just a single poem.

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  5. There you go again, equipping the beloved!

    As you know, I'm not a serious author. Even so, I do edit a lot of stuff. It's why I've chosen the tagline "May the words of my mouth & the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord" (Ps 19:14).

    Hugs,
    Kathleen

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  6. I do somewhat struggle with my inner-editor, but I try to let it rest at least until I get to the actual editing process. =) Thanks for sharing these links!

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  7. Congrats on the award, Karen. You truly deserve it because your posts are always so helpful and considerate. You're a class act.

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  8. Becky,
    Love your method! I like to print my work out too. Somehow it just helps me "see" everything better. :)

    Alex,
    You are welcome! I usually edit as I write; you're right, it does slow it down. Ah well, we get along anyway, don't we?

    Robyn,
    Good for you! Maybe you should hide the chocolate? :P

    Tyrean,
    Glad you can quiet your inner editor down some. And glad you have a method that works for you!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  9. Kathleen,
    What a wonderful scripture to guide you! That's worthy of posting in a prominent place near the computer. :)

    Tessa,
    Me too, and some days are better than others! Thanks for stopping. :)

    Joylene,
    Thank you so much. You're making me blush. :) Appreciate your kind words!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  10. My inner editor is too coddling methinks. She needs to knock me off my chair and whip me into shape sometimes.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  11. Hi Karen - I'm so excited to have won the book! I can't wait to sit down with it. Thanks for the contest. :) Thanks also for your shout out about my blog contest. Your support is greatly appreciated!

    Inner editor...I usually edit as I go along and then print for an "out loud" read through, then pen editing. I learned from participating in NaNo, however, that sometimes it is best to just let the words flow out. The first draft isn't pretty, but it sometimes leads places the characters might otherwise not have gone.

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  12. It seems there is definitely not one right way to edit. Great link line up this week! :O)

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  13. Hi Karen,
    I have battled my inner battle long enough:) Starting to give it reign and go as I can with it. LOL

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  14. For fiction, my inner editor stays quite quiet, letting the story flow, but I tend to edit as I go when writing non-fiction. I'm in revisions for my fiction writing, so it's all editing right now! Thanks for the links.

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  15. My inner editor never stops, and I love it. I need it to help me grow, but sometimes I have to holler, "stop--that's enough!"

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  16. Lee,
    Well said! We'll get it all figured out one of these days, won't we?

    Lisa,
    Will have the book off to you beforeWell said long! Am happy to share the info about your giveaway.

    Diane,
    Thanks! Yeah, I think we all need to find what fits just right.

    Terri,
    Everyone needs to have a method that works for them. One of these days I'll figure out the perfect balance. :)

    Lynn,
    Sounds like a pretty good balance. All the best with your editing!

    Jeanette,
    I'm with you there! Don't always love it, though. Working on that one. :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  17. This is a loaded post! First off, congrats to all the winners!

    My internal editor sometimes does get in the way of things and I have to remind myself that this is merely a first draft, that the idea is to get down the thought and the emotion before it fades. As long as can get it down, I can edit and polish to perfection later. Of course, stifling the internal editor is a job in its own and I don’t think it ever fully works. She’s always looking over my shoulder, pointing something or another out to me.

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  18. I think it takes practice! I have to really work at figuring out what is worth editing as I write and what can wait. If it's going to affect the story line I rewriter as I go. the other stuff waits.

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  19. Congrats on your award! I have to read the post about the inner critic vs editor...thanks for all the great linkage!

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  20. Oh, I'm quite at peace with mine. That one does both - edits as I go, and then when I'm typing it up before hitting send, she does a final polish and edit. At the risk of sounding like I have multiple personalities (please don't ask my kids), 'we' work together just fine.

    And now to get coffee for both of us...

    Grinning and waving,

    Rhonda

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  21. My inner editor slows me down, too, as several have mentioned, but only at the beginning. I have to write a beginning and then tell my editor to keep quiet. If I can ignore "her" then I move forward!

    I'm browsing today to meet some new people. I know many bloggers who have commented here, but some I don't, so I'm happy to find all these new links!! Thank you. And I'm happy to meet you!!! I'm now a follower, and I'll be back. You say you post twice a week. I think this is reasonable. Or three times a week, which I'm trying to do, but it doesn't seem to be working out that way! Writing, commenting on blogs, reading, and caregiving (for me) take a lot of time. And then there are the bloggers who work at "regular" jobs!! I don't know how they do it all.

    This is a well thought out out and informative post. I appreciate the time you put into this!
    Ann Best, Author

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  22. Lindsey,
    I think you're right, living with this inner editor is ongoing and ever changing! :)

    Laura,
    I hear you, and do it the same way, and then sometimes not. Why is it that certain days, though, it is harder to shut it down? Hmm.

    Lydia,
    Thank you. Hope you get a chance to get over there; it's an interesting read.

    Rhonda,
    Now see here's something I hadn't thought of. Send her for beverages to keep her out of my hair while I write. You're a genius!

    Ann,
    Glad you stopped by. I now know why your name sounds familiar; I follow your blog! Sorry haven't been around much. My visiting habits have been curbed of late due to projects. :)

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  23. Thanks for the great links, Karen. My inner editor makes me cranky! Very cranky. But I have stylin' shades and some "3 Amigos" buddies who keep me smiling! LOL. :-)

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  24. My inner editor is such a perfectionist that she sometimes just gets in the way of my creative flow!

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  25. Hi Karen -

    For the most part, I wait until the first draft is finished before setting the inner editor loose. She does get out of the cage if she sees something outrageous.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  26. Great thoughts on the inner editor. I love how every writer is different regarding editing!

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  27. I really consider my internal editor my writin BFF. I like coming back to a relatively clean MS on the second go around.

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  28. Shannon,
    Yes you do! And I'm thinking that you need to be wearing those shades when the amigos get together! :)

    Cindy,
    I know, it can be tough to rein her in!

    Susan,
    Would like to see this cage she's in while you are writing! :P

    Alisa,
    Interesting, yes, how we are different but the same!

    Tana,
    Hey this is a good point. I'd have to agree as long as there's not too much stress in the process.

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  29. Hi Karen...thanks for the links. Congrats on your awards. You truly deserve them and thanks for passing it on.

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  30. Congrats, Lisa!!!

    Karen, I am definitely going to check out those internal editor links. I had to literally give myself a pep talk before I wrote yesterday. I kept saying, "what you write today WILL be bad, but you can fix it later." LOL It worked for the most part. :)

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  31. Rachna,
    You are welcome, and thanks again for the award! You deserve yours as well, friend.

    Lisa,
    Hope the writing sessions went okay! I'll tell myself that too. Some days it makes it easier!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  32. My editor is a tyrant, but no more than I need and can handle. She does sometimes speak at untimely moments, but I deal. I do like the idea of writing her a letter, though.... :D

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  33. I find it fascinating that we have constructed a mythical figure which we call "the inner editor." This person is responsible for all the anxieties and critiques going on in our brains when we write. Even while we create, we are correcting ourselves.

    Just think for a minute: how amazing is that? What a marvelous work of art man is.

    But, and here I digress (probably should be a blog post), at some point we will do better to stand up and say "Moi!" I have created all of this and all of the arguments against it. With God's help, I have done it.

    The hang-ups are my own -- ones I must address.

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  34. I self edit as best I can then turn things over to my editor. I can only go so far and an editor gives you that vital second set of eyes to find errors that my biased eyes miss.

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Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!