Almost everyone struggles with their Inner Editor. It might get hung up on the little mistakes we make while drafting, or bring along Self-Doubt to talk us out of writing. Alternately, it might provide a distraction from focusing on the story, forcing us to procrastinate on difficult scenes. Sometimes, that Inner Editor can be hard to silence.
Thankfully, there are ways of muting the Inner Editor, at least temporarily. While not every method works for every person, here are a couple to try the next time your Inner Editor speaks up.
Sprinting is one of my personal favorites. Set a timer for just a few minutes and write as much as you can. Keep trying to beat your previous record. This is also a really useful tactic if you’re trying to carve out a few minutes to write in a busy day. Five or ten minutes while you’re waiting for the washer to finish adds up quickly.
Oversizing Text so that you can only see a few words at a time makes it harder to see mistakes and therefore, harder to get hung up on little things. As a bonus, it also helps later in editing since you’ll be looking at the completed work in a smaller format.
Coloring your text can help disguise mistakes, especially if you use a red similar to the one most word processors use to highlight mistakes. Again, this can help you later in editing if you change the color back to a standard black.
Make a Note for later instead of trying to ignore the mistake. Having a separate list of things you want to change or revise allows you to acknowledge anything you’ve spotted as you write without getting caught in an endless loop of editing.
Inner Editors are not easy to silence, but learning to deal with them is vital to writing.