Self Editing

I’m working on a personal piece of writing this week, but the go is slow. There’s a dark scowling editor hovering over my shoulder making all kinds of judgements. Every time I get a few sentences down, he rolls his eyes. I’ve hardly got a full page done.

“Don’t tell that,” he hisses. “Don’t even hint or wink a knowing wink about it.”

I delete my words and try again.

“Stop! You can’t tell people about that!”

I try again.

“Put a smile on your face and play nice,” he warns, tapping the delete button for me.

I know better than to listen to my inner naysayers during a creative phase, but this guy has me completely blocked. He’s panicked. For me, or himself, and I can’t tell which.

His hands raise as I type my words now, just waiting for me to step out of his comfort zone. I tense against his criticism, and only let an edited version hit the page where he can see. The rest of the story is stuck in my shoulder area, sharp and brittle.

I keep typing anyway, but soon, something even more unsettling happens.

Those unsaid words begin to loosen up and drift piece-by-piece down my arm to my elbow. I type faster and feel a few of them gather dangerously close to my wrist.

If I don’t stop them soon, they will fly out of my fingers for everybody to see.

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14 thoughts on “Self Editing

  1. I like the way you approached this. Well written. I did an article about this idea once, but yours is more descriptive and to the point. My was called, “Things your inner editor needs to hear you say.” You can search the title on my page if you like. Glad to hear about your recent success of having a story published, which reminds me I have one to go submit.

    Like

    • Windy Lynn says:

      Thank you for your comments, Peter. We do need to listen to that internal editor once in a while, as long as they don’t get in the way! Wishing you a creative day :)

      Like

  2. Luanne says:

    I know him! I banish him for a first draft, but after that he keeps insisting on creeping out.

    Like

  3. Windy, you paint the shoulder squatter who inhibits creativity, so well. Swat him off. In fact, load your marshmallow shooter and plink him one now and then… or just shove a marshmallow in his mouth! So finely written!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Doris Nehrbass says:

    This reminded me of Rita Ackerman’s little handmade face that sits on my desk. Known as the “Inner Critic,” it has a bright red zipper that invites me to “Just zip it.” I’ve been forgetting to do that, so thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jfabiano says:

    I like it! Beat that naysayer!

    Like

  6. Cindi says:

    It is so soul-wrenching to expose ourselves on the page and probably why so many of us stick to fiction. It is freeing though, or so I hear, so keep at it.

    Like

  7. Linda (Linaz) says:

    Sweet! Yeah, that darn left-brain control freak! Way to go, Windy.

    Like

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