Writing Process

Exhausting the Inner Editor

I managed to add 1500 words to my manuscript this morning!

Unfortunately, I accomplished this between the hours of 4:30 and 6:00 a.m.

I finished most of my high school English essays around 1:00 in the morning, so I’m familiar with the concept of being so tired that I just don’t care anymore how the sentences sound or if the words make sense.  You’ve heard the quote, usually attributed to Hemingway, that says “Write drunk, edit sober”?  Well, sleep deprivation silences my inner editor in much the same way as alcohol lowering inhibitions.  Occasionally, when a burst of inspiration hits me late at night, I’ll apply the same principle to my creative writing, but I haven’t made it a habit.

Now that I’m trying to write every day, however, I’m in the process of figuring out what time of day works best for this stage of writing.  At the moment, I need to complete my first draft, so my goal is adding to my word count.  However, the habit of editing myself as I go tends to slow things down.

So, since I had to get up at 3:00 to drive family members to the airport anyway, I figured I’d see what my sleepy brain could come up with.  When I got home, I started typing, and the words fairly flew.  I paused and rewrote a few times, but largely let myself write unchecked.  Though my exhaustion-addled brain may not thank me in the long run, I successfully exhausted my inner editor.

Until tomorrow morning, at least.


How do you silence your inner editor?  What time of day works best for your creative flow?  Let me know in the comments!


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