Resisting the self-edit

When I first did my own personal 40-day project, central to the goal was learning to silence my self-editor. From my blog post written at the time

One side effect of being an editor is that I have become a very slow writer. My process is to write a paragraph, rewrite it, write and rewrite. I find myself unable to just bang out a fast first draft and set it aside for later revision. I am instead like a gardener who starts raking leaves in one corner of the yard, and then, seeing that the wind has loosed more leaves onto the lawn, begins raking in that corner again.

Don't edit. Just write. This is a lesson I need to learn and re-learn. Set a limit — 15 to 30 minutes is good — for how long you’ll allow yourself to work on your daily writing. A ticking clock focuses the mind. There will be time for editing on day 41.

robin rauzi