The careful approach.

Don’t do it. It takes forever. I’ve been there and done that, using a careful and measured approach in my writing. Taking time to choose the right words and editing as I go along. But that approach just holds you back.

It’s far better to take a reckless running jump at the next piece of work. Shotgun your thoughts onto the page like a paint splat, dripping and multicoloured. A lot of it may be nonsense. A lot of it may be off-topic. But the more you do it, the more you write without the barriers up and the editor’s hat on, the easier and quicker it becomes.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t edit. You certainly should. But leave the editing for when you’re done creating, and only then. Otherwise the two just get in each other’s way.

When you’re writing, don’t be careful. Be reckless. Let your panting, tail-wagging, slobbering creativity off the leash and get down the weirdest, most wonderful ideas you can. When you’re spent and all created out, and your creativity’s gone galloping off into the woods of your subconscious again, then you can let your inner editor out of their grey sensible box to make sure everything’s neat and tidy and targeted to your audience. The two are a team, but they don’t really work well in the same room.

But still, don’t be a careful editor. Be a reckless one who dives right in. Don’t be afraid to hack down things you’ve written if they’re planted in the wrong place or don’t make sense to your audience. There’ll always be more words around; they grow like weeds. The words don’t matter; only the message matters. Your story.

Be reckless. Do more. Get better faster. It’s all just repetition.

 

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