Try NOT to Edit (repost)

Whooo boy this is a tough one that even I have trouble with. Try not to edit what you’re writing while you are writing it. Keep this in mind especially with longer pieces.

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Creating and editing are two different processes and doing them simultaneously can cause enormous issues in your writing like:

  • plot holes
  • misspellings
  • poor continuity
  • the melding of 2 separate story lines (I’ve done this)
  • Differences in characters’ personalities
  • spontaneous changes in setting (I’ve done this, too)

When I return to pieces which were edited while I wrote them, I find my characters are simultaneously in offices and bathrooms or they are madly in love with characters who are not actually part of the same story.

Just remember: Write first and then let your inner editor tear it to shreds. The problem is that you have been trained to do otherwise. If you see you have misspelled a word or left one out, you are supposed to fix it. But then you scour the piece for additional mistakes and realize you hate things about your piece on micro and macrocosmic scales.

I say this: leave it alone. Finish your scene, leave the red and green underlined sections until the scene or chapter that you have planned to write at that sitting is over. Then go back.

If it’s not finished–don’t edit it.

SPECIAL NOTE: While I am pursuing my Masters degree in Writing I have decided to repost my Writing Tip Tuesday posts in order to help keep content flowing and my workload lowered. As always-if you have a question about writing or an issue you would like me to address feel free to email me about it at JessicaMary87@gmail.com. Thanks for following!

By J. M. Tuckerman

J.M.Tuckerman is a neurodivergent writer with a big education. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, an MA in Writing, and a BA in Writing Arts (specializing in Creative Writing, New Media Writing, and Publication; concentrating in New Media Production), which she somehow managed to earn despite her three very loud and large dogs. Jessica was lucky enough to intern at Quirk Books and Picador, USA while earning her master’s degrees. Her service dog, Ringo, is very proud of all that she has accomplished and hopes to be on a back cover of a published book with her very soon. An avid reader, writer, and lover of young adult and middle-grade literature, Jessica’s bookshelf is overflowing with hardbacks, paperbacks, and a million half-filled notebooks. She is a proud fur-mommy to two lab/st-bernard littermates, a retriever-mix service dog, and one orange little hobgoblin cat, all of whom have made very audible appearances on the Booked All Night podcast.