Writing Tip #3
“Write first, edit later.”
— Michael Weaver —
Once you have begun establishing a writing "practice" (as outlined in Tip #1), the next most important thing is make sure that you are actually writing — instead of attempting to write and edit simultaneously.
One of the most difficult lessons for me to learn was to simply allow myself to write, without judgements and with no specific agenda in mind. However writing and editing require two different mindsets, which is why I recommend writing first and editing later.
When writing you are simply looking to get your thoughts out on the paper, screen, or whatever other medium you have chosen to capture your ideas upon. Essentially, you are practicing developing a sense of creative "flow" that is uniquely different from the analytical mindset characteristic of editing.
I must confess that as someone with a technical background I initially found this process quite unnerving. However the more I practiced this skill the more l began to appreciate this approach, which I now find quite liberating. Instead of attempting to control the writing process, I am better able to simply let go and see what arises (most of the time).
Additionally, by getting everything out on paper (or the screen) and out of my head, I have more material to work with once I actually delve into the editing phase (more on that later).
Take the time to write, then let what you have written breathe so that you can edit it with fresh eyes. What should you do while letting your work breathe? Why write of course! This way you will be continually developing your creative muscles while ensuring that you have plenty of material to work with later in the process.
Above all - have fun!