The Perils of Self-Editing (Crashcourse, Day 7)

Welcome to Day 7 of Crashcourse!

Ahh, well … there's always tomorrow!
This is my “well, that was a crappy day of writing” face!

Crashcourse continues onward, slow and steady. Okay, reallllllyyyyyy slowly. Cripes, my self-editing is out of control. It’s time to break this habit once and for all.

Crashcourse Slows Down

Today, I wrote 456 words in about two and a half hours. That’s pretty abysmal. Worst of all, the story feels like it’s just ambling along for these first 2,000 words. I mean, it’s not terrible. It’s just kind of … blah. I lay a lot of the blame for this on self-editing, so let me tell you what I mean by that. I’ll write a sentence, then another sentence. Then I’ll combine the sentences. Then I’ll take this new sentence and edit again. I’ll move it to another paragraph, then another one. Maybe I’ll break it apart again or delete it altogether. Or maybe something else.

I’ve been writing this way for years and I’ve never really liked it. It slows me down, saps my creative energies, and keeps me from really immersing myself in a story. I keep promising myself I’ll change it, but I never get around to it. Why is that, you ask? I think it’s because the problem partly self-corrects. After a week or so, I usually cut back on the edits (not fully though) and return to my normal rate of 500/words per hour. That’s okay, but it also keeps me from solving the bigger issue.

Part of the reason I started this blog series was to take a closer look at how I craft stories. And upon reflection, I don’t like my editing process. I do like the idea of using edits to move a story forward (I talked about this yesterday). But I’m tired of trying to make every sentence perfect, over and over again. This weekend, I’m going to make it my mission to completely change the way I edit my books. That is, I’m not going to edit unless I’m using it to gain momentum. Wish me luck!

Crashcourse Totals

Today: 456 words in 2:27. 186 words/hour

Total: 1,958 words in 8:50. 222 words/hour

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