I often write and edit as I go under the guise that I’ll be done with the writing process quicker. But as mentioned, this can be time-consuming to the point of missing out on getting the story done.
A couple of months ago, I spent an entire day on one paragraph. I wanted it to be perfect, but in the end I was frustrated, tired, and it still wasn’t to my liking. After taking a step back, I made a highlighted note of what I really wanted from that part of the story and then moved on to the next piece. It was hard to let it go, but to keep from hindering progress I had to do it. I managed to get two chapters written the next day.
Editing while writing is a common habit for many writers – and most of the time, it’s not an intentional or beneficial one. Even I’m doing right now, as I write this post. But the truth is, it’s not something I’m proud of, and it’s not something that really helps me much at all. Here’s why:
- You’re wasting your time. If you keep revisiting the same writing over and over again as you go, taking things out and putting things back in, you’re using up time that could be better spent … well, writing. You’re going to be coming back to this once you’ve finished the first draft, so why are you tripling up on unnecessary peeks and tweaks?
- You’re making it harder to effectively edit the finished product. When you edit as you go, you are spending so much time on each sentence, paragraph, chapter, etc. that you become too…
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