I have a very strong inner editor. In arm wrestles, she always wins. What does this mean for my writing? Sometimes it takes hours for me to write a chapter.
I envy those who can sit at their computer and just write. Even when they know it's not perfect and it will ultimately need some serious revision.
I can't do that. I've tried, trust me. But I can't stop myself from going back to reread and rewrite. In fact, before each writing session, I review the previous chapter and rewrite words, sentences, even entire paragraphs. I suffer from a bad case of perfectionism.
In her book Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott spends one chapter championing bad first drafts and another chapter denouncing perfectionism. She states, "Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft" (28). She continues, "Perfectionism will ruin your writing, blocking inventiveness and playfulness and life force ... Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up. But clutter and mess show that life is being lived" (28).
Do you agree with Anne Lamott? What do you do to restrain your own inner editor?
4 days ago