He has started interfering with my plot, character motives, scenes and has thrown my writing rhythm off kilter. I was wondering why this time my first draft is taking so long. Usually my first drafts are quick. I can get them down either on paper or on the laptop in a jiffy.
It’s all because of my inner editor sitting on my shoulder, squinting at the screen, its eyes narrowed with disapproval, its face contorted with disgust, its shrill voice screaming a flurry of instructions. Practically every instruction starts with “ don’t write like this, this is not appropriate, why have you written this, mellow that down, how can a school girl think like this, how can you think that about a teacher, that’s not appropriate behaviour for a ten year old Indian school girl/boy, that boy is not a role model, this is just not right.”
By the time I finish arguing with my inner editor, I have wasted precious writing time. The deadline for my first draft has come and long since gone. I have another deadline looming large. I still have to write the last few chapters. Make that the last one third of the book.
Many times I have shut down the laptop to silence my inner editor. This time I decided enough is enough. I can’t let my inner editor bully me. So I packed his bags and sent the bully on a long holiday, as I need to write the first draft my way.
The moment I kicked it out, I got several plot points in picture. I have gone over the earlier scenes and made the changes. This separation is doing me lots of good. It’s given me the much needed breathing space to write the first draft my way. When my inner editor returns, it will probably die of shock. It’s a risk I am willing to take. I also know that quite a lot of what I am writing now will get the axe when I visit the city of edits. I really don’t mind that as I am enjoying my writing after days.
I would like to know how do you all battle with your inner editors while working on your books? How do you deal with a moralistic inner editor who is driving you up the wall? How do you all silence your inner editors? Please tell us. We all can benefit from your experiences with your inner editors.