I follow a few writing blogs, and Live to Write – Write to Live is one of my favourites. A blog on this site written by Diane MacKinnon, Dialogue With The Internal Editor really sparked my writing mood and practice, and makes good sense. Yesterday I wrote about dementia, drowning, and paddling like a swan to keep afloat. The image I retrieved from Google images ‘I blog therefore I am’ said it perfectly for me, but I suppose it is really ‘I write and therefore I am’ as blogging is not the only forum I use to write.
Do go and read the whole article, but this exercise Diane gives is worth adding here;
- Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the center.
- The left-hand column is for your writer self. The right-hand column is for your internal editor.
- Write “I want to write without editing” in the left-hand column. In the right-hand column, write “You need to edit as you go.”
- Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and then write your (writer’s self) response to your internal editor’s first statement. Once you’ve done that, see what your internal editor’s response is. Keep going until you get to a turning point.
- If you feel stalled, re-write the original two sentences and start over. Or just keep responding “You can’t make me edit as I go” in the left-hand column. Eventually, the response will change.
- Keep writing until the dialogue feels complete.
- Repeat daily or as often as feels helpful.
As a NaNoWriMo winner last year, and my pathetic start to the event this year, I’ve decided there is no need to feel disappointed if I don’t make it this year as I am still writing every day, which was the goal I set myself on 2 September 2011. My challenge this year is time, and brain power as it fades much earlier in the day. And editing!! I spend so much time editing now, which is a valid part of my paddling to stay afloat and overcome the disabilities caused by the symptoms of dementia, it is very challenging to stop doing it all the time! But Diane suggests no editing, the NaNoWriMo way, especially for writing tomes, and I suspect she is right. I’ll have to start by doing her exercise!