Type, type, type. Backspace, backspace, backspace. Type more, delete, rewrite.
Writing and trying to edit as you go gets you nowhere. It’s two steps forward and one step back. It makes your writing process excruciatingly slow.
Stick around because it gets worse.
When you try to write and edit at the same time, you’re setting up two sides of your brain in a duel. Rather than getting these two sides to support one another, you’re putting them into a competition that neither wins.
As author Susan Reynolds says in Fire Up Your Writing Brain: How to Use Proven Neuroscience to Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Writer:
“Your editing brain is not the same as your writing brain, which is why you kindly ask the editor to step outside while your more imaginative and spontaneous brain is writing the first draft.”
Here’s the reality:
Writing uses one part of your brain. Editing uses another.
Once you understand this and accept it, you can work with it. And it all starts when you think about those two sides of your brain in terms of two characters I’d like to introduce you to:
Your Creative Angel and your Devilish Editor.