Meet Your Internal Editor

Meet the Internal Editor

One of the biggest deterrents to creative writing is the presence of your internal editor. She—or he—loves to interfere with your thought process by pointing out mistakes, typos, missing commas, or errors in your thought process.

“But,” you say, “surely this is important? I don’t want to produce inferior work.”

No, you don’t. But the time for editing will come later, once you’ve finished writing the article or chapter. If you stop to listen to all the suggested corrections of your internal editor, your work will lack creativity and flow and may never get finished.

Send him or her packing!

Sometimes it can be as simple as playing music or wearing headphones. Other times you need to be far more drastic. Acknowledge the presence of your inner editor, then deal with her/him.

Cecil Murphey, in his Writer to Writer blog, is polite when he deals with his inner editor. He admits that he talks aloud. “Be patient,” he says. “Let me get on with this. When I finish, I’ll let you rip it apart.”

Karen Swim at Words for Hire banishes her inner critic by “physically kicking her out of the room and locking the door. I have found that acknowledging her presence and ordering her to leave is as effective as it would be on a “real” person. She is only allowed back in when I have written the first draft, and then and only then she gets to have her say.”

How do you deal with your internal editor? 

Please leave some suggestions in a comment box.