“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein.
Have you ever felt the frustration of having what you know get in the way of what you can accomplish? Have you felt so overly invested in the “technical stuff” that your writing and productivity feels more stunted than ever? There is a reason for this.
Writers should never edit themselves while they write. For one, it slows down their progress considerably and blocks the steady flow of ideas to where they only are produced by a trickle… then down to a few drips here and there… then finally to the point where your focus on the piece is no longer centered around the message or theme, but instead on your obsessions of perfection which has invaded your piece like an infestation. Constant anxiety and editing to try to get the grammar and structure right while you work makes a writer more critical and less creative. The worst part is the formation of distrust within yourself which ultimately leads to a lack of confidence, and as we all know, confidence is one of many keys to success.
Writing and editing are separate processes which conflict with one another. Writing allows you to freely express your ideas and let go of all the boundaries set by the world. Our ideas, aspirations, and willpower are our tools to producing the emotions that make our pieces compelling and worth reading. This process will not work if we are too busy fussing over what we think we are doing wrong. Editing requires more analysis — chronology, scale, sentence structure, grammar, clarity… the list goes on! But that’s one of the greatest things about the written word. We can go back later and fix the issues! When you allow yourself to get emotionally involved, you can feel your work transform.
Here’s a writing prompt to get you started:
Two people are having a normal discussion (i.e. about what they want to eat or where they want to go), but one of them is angry about something and won’t say what. Omit dialogue tags (he said, she said, etc.) and work to show the reader the character’s frustration.
Remember to have fun and to not to edit yourself as you write! Make it as long as you want and feel free to share with friends!
I will be happy to see what you come up with in the comments below. 🙂