Monday, October 08, 2007

Letting go

I've always had a hard time letting go. With my writing, I mean. I probably have a hard time letting go of other things, but this morning, my writing is foremost on my mind.

In his non-fiction release, This Year You Write Your Novel, Walter Mosley encourages authors to let go and just write. For his part, he says he rereads what he wrote the day before, making only superficial changes before continuing with his story. I also reread what I wrote the previous day. But, unlike Mr. Mosley, I find myself making huge changes before moving on. Adding more visuals, editing and re-editing dialogue. Then worrying that I may have messed up the story's pacing by adding too much.

Other authors also encourage writers to just write. Stephen King states in his book On Writing to get the words on paper and worry about fixing them later. You can't edit a blank page is a common industry call to action. But I seem to be obsessed with tweaking my words every step of the way.

The reason this concerns me is that I think it's a bad writing habit. It slows down the process unnecessarily.

Does anyone else have this problem? And, if so, have you found a way to break the habit?



Nine to Five Diva said...

Um, Patricia, I am raising my hand right now in total agreement. I think my biggest problem is that I enjoy the writing process "too much." Hence the reason why it is taking me so long to finish my current writing project (smile).

Nine to Five Diva said...

Oops, sorry about not signing my previous post. Everybody isn't familiar with my Nine to Five Diva moniker.

All the best,


patricia sargeant said...

Hi, Charlotte. I'm glad I'm not alone. :)

Anonymous said...

Patricia, my first thought after I read your question was, "Oh my God, Yes! I have the exact same problem." I am currently revising my novel for the umpteenth time. I am so looking forward to completing the FINAL copy! But I must say that I have no clue about a cure, if there is such a thing.


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