I have a problem.
The words that I’m writing here, I’ve erased and rewritten about five times now.
There are better words to use. There are better ways to phrase this.
I can do better. I can always do better.
While this attitude can be very helpful in editing and trying to write something of quality, it horribly impedes my progress in first drafts and things like NaNoWriMo.
Because I’m always trying to edit as I write.
It’s an incredibly difficult habit to just put on hold while I write. But it just doesn’t work to sit and stare at the screen for ten minutes while I try to think of the absolute best way to word my wordy words. That’s what editing is for.
One way I combat this is to use a typewriter (no, I don’t take it to Starbucks with my curly mustache and big front-wheeled bicycle). It’s my version of writing with a pen instead of a pencil. As I write, I go along and whoops there’s a mistake oh well we must press on! Embrace the imperfections!
When I use the computer, I end up looking up every word to see if there is a better synonym out there (there is) or looking up pictures and researching the exact layout of the Louvre because one of my characters stopped by once. Google Street View is great for getting an impression of a real location, but it is terrible for actually writing something down.
This inner editor problem isn’t even relegated to writing. People ask me a question and the Jeopardy! theme song starts as I try to form the perfect answer. The clocks tick. Time passes. The leaves change colour and fall to the ground. Still, I search for the right words.
My sisters had a phrase when conversing with me: “Spit it out!”
I hear it when someone asks how my weekend went. I hear it when the burger jockey asks if that’ll be all. I hear it when I sit down at the keyboard.
Spit it out.
Spit it out.
SPIT IT OUT.
Get the words out of my brain space and into the real world.
Other than the basic not-enough-hours-in-the-day conundrum, this is definitively my biggest obstacle when it comes to writing.