What Everyone Ought to Know About Self-Editing

What Everyone Ought to Know About Self-Editing

Editing. It is something that is going to need to be done eventually. However, are you a person who likes to edit as you go along? Perhaps editing so much that you may not get anything done? Well if this is the case, you are not the only one. Sometimes inspiration strikes and you run to your computer, tablet or notebook, start writing and get a good page done. Then you decide, I am going to read this page before moving forward. This is the wrong thing to do!

The Problem

I have so many ideas that float in and out of my head daily. Inspiration seems to strike at the oddest moments. Such as in the car, in the shower, when I am out with friends, and even grocery shopping. I carry a small notebook with me to jot down some information about these ideas. Later, I will go on my computer to type something up.

This is all well and good, but the trick is to continue past that stroke of inspiration. I will write a page and feel rather good about myself, then I make the mistake of going back to read what I had written. A voice starts to rage inside my head and each sentence that I was so proud of, now seemed to be a load of rubbish. Whole paragraphs will get taken out and what I thought was a good jab in dialogue now sounded flat and uninspired. This is the inner critic.

We all have it. A lot of us writers struggle to get our ideas out on paper. Whether it is due to a block or just the critic within yelling too loud. Knowing your writing is good enough and worth the effort to continue is key. It took me years to get up the courage to even allow someone else to read what I had written. I will admit that I carefully picked out the piece I allowed other eyes to see. It was either edited so much even my critic couldn’t say anything or I had someone else already say it was good enough.

The Solution

The trick here is to continue writing. When I went back to school, I had a lot of writing to do. I needed to complete these writing projects or else fail the class. Of course, deadlines always seem to boost getting things done. At least for me anyway. Freewriting, I find to be the perfect way to just let the inspiration flow. Don’t stop! Put some music on, look at pictures that inspire and check out your notes for your ideas. No matter what do not go back to edit anything until you are done. Otherwise, you will stall, and the story will never be told.


I have a pile of stories waiting to be finished. So many have been the product of self-editing and the inner critic telling me I will never be good enough. After gaining some confidence and turning down that inner voice I am dedicated to getting those stories completed. My list of tools to help the inspiration flowing is a great place to start if you are stuck. Just know that editing every few paragraphs, pages or even chapters are not a good way to come closer to finishing your story. Let it be told. You can always go back at the end to cross the T’s and dot the I’s.

If you have stories about your inner critic and how you get around it, please share in the comments below. If you like what you have read thus far feel free to follow the blog to get the latest updates delivered right to you. Thank you for reading!

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