Do you edit as you write?

One of the reasons I’ve never really finished Nanowrimo is because I get about 30,000 words in and just lose faith because the words are so awful! I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a perfectionist but I like to write, say 1000 words, then go back and edit those 1000 words before moving on to the next 1000. It’s the only way I can keep writing, otherwise I’m looking at a bunch of awful words and going… oh my god.

Is anyone else like this? Or are you perfectly fine churning out the words because you know you can edit them later? What is your process for writing and editing?

128 thoughts on “Do you edit as you write?

  1. Daniel Ionson

    I’ve read from multiple veteran writers that it’s best to let yourself write without editing at the same time. This works for me also–I need to get the content out, and I can clean it up later.

    Reply
  2. Daniel Ionson

    I’ve read from multiple veteran writers that it’s best to let yourself write without editing at the same time. This works for me also–I need to get the content out, and I can clean it up later.

    Reply
  3. shunpwrites

    Jodie, I can totally identify with your conundrum. I’ve recently started the process of reading back my previous paragraph after completing it, then allowing it to it simmer. I compel myself to get up, walk around before coming back to it with a fresh of eyes once I’ve reached a certain word count.

    Surprisingly I’ve gotten more traction out of this approach as I liken it to a water filter cleaning out all of the “special stuff” in our drinking water.

    Reply
  4. shunpwrites

    Jodie, I can totally identify with your conundrum. I’ve recently started the process of reading back my previous paragraph after completing it, then allowing it to it simmer. I compel myself to get up, walk around before coming back to it with a fresh of eyes once I’ve reached a certain word count.

    Surprisingly I’ve gotten more traction out of this approach as I liken it to a water filter cleaning out all of the “special stuff” in our drinking water.

    Reply
  5. Philip Wardlow

    Well we are definitely alike in that way…I get to about 1000 or so as well and analyze the hell out of what I just wrote and then discover I can tweak it here and then here just a little …:) so then it ends up edited…so yeah, to certain extent its unavoidable …I hear Stephen King does it somewhat and it works for him…:)

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  6. Philip Wardlow

    Well we are definitely alike in that way…I get to about 1000 or so as well and analyze the hell out of what I just wrote and then discover I can tweak it here and then here just a little …:) so then it ends up edited…so yeah, to certain extent its unavoidable …I hear Stephen King does it somewhat and it works for him…:)

    Reply
  7. jeremysward

    Personally, I tend to go back and edit after writing each chapter. I don’t do any intensive editing, I just look at each part for inconsistencies, plot holes, details I missed, etc. In other words, I edit the content without worrying about its presentation. This also works better for me because it gives me a nice little break between writing chapters so that I can still feel productive while not having to think too much.

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  8. jeremysward

    Personally, I tend to go back and edit after writing each chapter. I don’t do any intensive editing, I just look at each part for inconsistencies, plot holes, details I missed, etc. In other words, I edit the content without worrying about its presentation. This also works better for me because it gives me a nice little break between writing chapters so that I can still feel productive while not having to think too much.

    Reply
  9. navigator1965

    I self edit once I need a break from writing. I write nonfiction for the time being. Even so, I would never do NaNoWriMo. A book deserves to be considered and planned and lovingly brought to fruition.

    Reply
  10. navigator1965

    I self edit once I need a break from writing. I write nonfiction for the time being. Even so, I would never do NaNoWriMo. A book deserves to be considered and planned and lovingly brought to fruition.

    Reply
  11. Franny Marie

    I fully understand! I’m the same way but I have to keep in mind that I can edit later so I try not to edit as I go but sometimes I do the small things like going back and spelling the word right or adding in that punctuation. :-)

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  12. Franny Marie

    I fully understand! I’m the same way but I have to keep in mind that I can edit later so I try not to edit as I go but sometimes I do the small things like going back and spelling the word right or adding in that punctuation. :-)

    Reply
  13. Therin Knite

    Well, it depends. As a pantser, I have to be careful. I plot as I go, so if I find myself going in the wrong direction, I backtrack, delete, and try again. I don’t edit for quality until I’m finished with the first draft though. The words can be bad, as long as they’re describing the “right” events.

    Reply
  14. Therin Knite

    Well, it depends. As a pantser, I have to be careful. I plot as I go, so if I find myself going in the wrong direction, I backtrack, delete, and try again. I don’t edit for quality until I’m finished with the first draft though. The words can be bad, as long as they’re describing the “right” events.

    Reply
  15. robakers

    I have decided to trick myself. I also have this issue and I cant let the words flow out without going back and correcting something. When I started writing, I would crank out 10,000 word chapters and after it was done I would find myself hanging around and cleaning it up. I couldn’t move on.

    Now, I limit myself to 1,500 word chapters. I still want to clean it up but since it is shorter I can get through it relatively quickly and then move on to the next chapter. So far it has worked quite well.

    Reply
  16. robakers

    I have decided to trick myself. I also have this issue and I cant let the words flow out without going back and correcting something. When I started writing, I would crank out 10,000 word chapters and after it was done I would find myself hanging around and cleaning it up. I couldn’t move on.

    Now, I limit myself to 1,500 word chapters. I still want to clean it up but since it is shorter I can get through it relatively quickly and then move on to the next chapter. So far it has worked quite well.

    Reply
  17. JP McLean

    I’ve been there…it’s so frustrating. Unfortunately, it’s also a waste of valuable writing time. In my experience, when the story is done and you’ve left it to breath for a time, the edits you make will be much better and you’ll probably ditch the earlier editing efforts anyway. Have a little faith in yourself. Sometimes the initial writing is terrible, but the ideas are there. It’s the ideas that are the gems and those ideas can be re-written at your leisure.

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  18. JP McLean

    I’ve been there…it’s so frustrating. Unfortunately, it’s also a waste of valuable writing time. In my experience, when the story is done and you’ve left it to breath for a time, the edits you make will be much better and you’ll probably ditch the earlier editing efforts anyway. Have a little faith in yourself. Sometimes the initial writing is terrible, but the ideas are there. It’s the ideas that are the gems and those ideas can be re-written at your leisure.

    Reply
  19. Dom DiFrancesco

    I struggle with the same issue, my personality wants to edit as I write, but this tends to break the flow. I am trying to change my style to just let me write with out the burden of editing as I go. Good luck with this, it is a difficult habit to break.

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  20. Dom DiFrancesco

    I struggle with the same issue, my personality wants to edit as I write, but this tends to break the flow. I am trying to change my style to just let me write with out the burden of editing as I go. Good luck with this, it is a difficult habit to break.

    Reply
  21. raevenlywrites

    I absolutely CANNOT edit as I write.

    I will get caught up in the editing and never let myself move forward, checking and re-checking and doubting my work- is it good enough?

    So I’ve learned to just write, to promise myself and my characters that I will fix it later, and now I am chapters away from finally finishing my first novel. :)

    Reply
  22. raevenlywrites

    I absolutely CANNOT edit as I write.

    I will get caught up in the editing and never let myself move forward, checking and re-checking and doubting my work- is it good enough?

    So I’ve learned to just write, to promise myself and my characters that I will fix it later, and now I am chapters away from finally finishing my first novel. :)

    Reply
  23. dianaroggenbuckebrown

    It is hard to stop yourself from editing, but I try to finish the novel and then go back for the dreaded editing afterwards. The problem then is though that is feels like such a daunting task it is very hard to get motivated. Sometimes it helps to leave it for a while (in my case with my latest novel 2 months),and then begin the editing.

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  24. dianaroggenbuckebrown

    It is hard to stop yourself from editing, but I try to finish the novel and then go back for the dreaded editing afterwards. The problem then is though that is feels like such a daunting task it is very hard to get motivated. Sometimes it helps to leave it for a while (in my case with my latest novel 2 months),and then begin the editing.

    Reply
  25. Paul J. Stam

    Jodie, many, many years ago, I would edit as I wrote, and then edit the damn thing again, and again, and again, and finally realized I would never get anything done if I kept that up. Now I write the whole thing through and then go and shift things around and start editing. It is amazing how after you’ve written 100,000 words and you start the editing process how some of the things you wrote really were good. – Keep writing and Aloha – pjs.

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  26. Paul J. Stam

    Jodie, many, many years ago, I would edit as I wrote, and then edit the damn thing again, and again, and again, and finally realized I would never get anything done if I kept that up. Now I write the whole thing through and then go and shift things around and start editing. It is amazing how after you’ve written 100,000 words and you start the editing process how some of the things you wrote really were good. – Keep writing and Aloha – pjs.

    Reply
  27. Kayla

    I love your header for your blog, it’s beautiful! I don’t edit as I write, I honestly hate editing, but i know it needs to be done, it’s just one of those things I always put off until the very end.

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  28. Kayla

    I love your header for your blog, it’s beautiful! I don’t edit as I write, I honestly hate editing, but i know it needs to be done, it’s just one of those things I always put off until the very end.

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  29. Lauren Kells

    Jodie, I totally echo the comments here and will add that one way I’ve found around the editing urge is by writing stories in longhand. Yes! Especially when I’m writing personal essay or memoir because it’s like writing in a diary. It forces me to get in the flow and keep going. Keep going!

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  30. Lauren Kells

    Jodie, I totally echo the comments here and will add that one way I’ve found around the editing urge is by writing stories in longhand. Yes! Especially when I’m writing personal essay or memoir because it’s like writing in a diary. It forces me to get in the flow and keep going. Keep going!

    Reply
  31. samanthak52712

    I edit as I go and it’s always a disaster. That’s why I have such a hard time writing creatively. I’ll start something and get 100, 1000 words in and start rereading and editing and eventually I hate what I wrote and do the CTRL+A, DEL.

    I even do it with my blog! I have 4 posts I started and grew tired of (although I’m trying to heed professors’ and fellow writers’ warnings and keep the stuff I don’t like rather than deleting it, in case I come back to it later with a new perspective). Sheesh. I guess some of us just like to punish ourselves, haha. :)

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  32. samanthak52712

    I edit as I go and it’s always a disaster. That’s why I have such a hard time writing creatively. I’ll start something and get 100, 1000 words in and start rereading and editing and eventually I hate what I wrote and do the CTRL+A, DEL.

    I even do it with my blog! I have 4 posts I started and grew tired of (although I’m trying to heed professors’ and fellow writers’ warnings and keep the stuff I don’t like rather than deleting it, in case I come back to it later with a new perspective). Sheesh. I guess some of us just like to punish ourselves, haha. :)

    Reply
  33. thehealthybacon

    I also struggle with getting caught up in editing as I write, so this year I decided to challenge myself to create five hours of NEW writing each week, in addition to the time I spend editing and marketing my work. Anyone, including you, is invited to join me in this challenge. :) Best wishes on all of your writing endeavors! :)

    Reply
  34. thehealthybacon

    I also struggle with getting caught up in editing as I write, so this year I decided to challenge myself to create five hours of NEW writing each week, in addition to the time I spend editing and marketing my work. Anyone, including you, is invited to join me in this challenge. :) Best wishes on all of your writing endeavors! :)

    Reply
  35. Binki

    Hi, I have my first book coming out in the UK in 2014 and I wrote it by just powering on through, forget any editing until the first draft is done, just let my thoughts fall on the paper. Then I did loads of edits once the basic skeleton was in place. I think if you keep stopping after a 1000 words you could end up worrying too much about the structure, when you need to get the content down first? I guess everyone has a different way of doing it. Best wishes x

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  36. Binki

    Hi, I have my first book coming out in the UK in 2014 and I wrote it by just powering on through, forget any editing until the first draft is done, just let my thoughts fall on the paper. Then I did loads of edits once the basic skeleton was in place. I think if you keep stopping after a 1000 words you could end up worrying too much about the structure, when you need to get the content down first? I guess everyone has a different way of doing it. Best wishes x

    Reply
  37. hesthermay

    I basically do not edit until I have finished the first draft. That is, I haven’t been editing much so far. On occasion, I’ll change a word or sentence when I am reading a section to get back into things, but I always want to save editing for the end. I think I want to move forward in the story badly enough so I just write even if it’s not so great at first.

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  38. hesthermay

    I basically do not edit until I have finished the first draft. That is, I haven’t been editing much so far. On occasion, I’ll change a word or sentence when I am reading a section to get back into things, but I always want to save editing for the end. I think I want to move forward in the story badly enough so I just write even if it’s not so great at first.

    Reply
  39. Jack The Stripper

    Some of the best known writers I know do just that. Joe Lansdale and Neil Gaiman are two that spring to mind, but I think it’s horses for courses – what works for one might not work for another, and their is no panacea. I’ve found the “brain-dump and edit after” process works for me at the moment, often editing after leaving it to percolate for a period. Often I find ideas and re-writes spring to mind while it’s brewing, but usually at the most untimely of moments and in places I’ve got nothing to scratch down the ideas on to corral them and keep them for evaporating.

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  40. Jack The Stripper

    Some of the best known writers I know do just that. Joe Lansdale and Neil Gaiman are two that spring to mind, but I think it’s horses for courses – what works for one might not work for another, and their is no panacea. I’ve found the “brain-dump and edit after” process works for me at the moment, often editing after leaving it to percolate for a period. Often I find ideas and re-writes spring to mind while it’s brewing, but usually at the most untimely of moments and in places I’ve got nothing to scratch down the ideas on to corral them and keep them for evaporating.

    Reply
  41. James

    My writing comes in short bursts. One minute I’m furiously typing away so as not to forget what I just thought; and the next minute, I’m completely blocked-not knowing how to continue.

    So whilst I wait I go back to edit what I have just written, in the hopes that that will re-spark my imagination and continue the rest of the writing.

    It works sometimes …

    Reply
  42. James

    My writing comes in short bursts. One minute I’m furiously typing away so as not to forget what I just thought; and the next minute, I’m completely blocked-not knowing how to continue.

    So whilst I wait I go back to edit what I have just written, in the hopes that that will re-spark my imagination and continue the rest of the writing.

    It works sometimes …

    Reply
  43. G

    Its a trap I always fall into. I have to force myself to just stop editing. Its so important to just let your fingers run. I even just jot down a quick sentence about what i intend to say at a certain point and then come back to it later, l often find that i suddenly have the words. If i don’t put it down at all I forget all of my ideas. Also its so important not to edit as you write because you can disrupt your own sense of rhythm and your writing will be very disjointed.

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  44. G

    Its a trap I always fall into. I have to force myself to just stop editing. Its so important to just let your fingers run. I even just jot down a quick sentence about what i intend to say at a certain point and then come back to it later, l often find that i suddenly have the words. If i don’t put it down at all I forget all of my ideas. Also its so important not to edit as you write because you can disrupt your own sense of rhythm and your writing will be very disjointed.

    Reply
  45. lonelyboy1977

    I constantly struggle to refrain from editing as I write and it’s not easy. Unfortunately I’m a perfectionist and I’m never happy with what I’ve written, so that annoying voice in my head keeps bugging me to go back and edit everything before moving on.

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  46. lonelyboy1977

    I constantly struggle to refrain from editing as I write and it’s not easy. Unfortunately I’m a perfectionist and I’m never happy with what I’ve written, so that annoying voice in my head keeps bugging me to go back and edit everything before moving on.

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  47. Alison Juste

    I have the same habit!

    Mostly it’s when I stop writing or I’m unsure how to bridge two sections or any other ‘writer’s block’ feeling occurs. Of course, I always feel that re-reading myself will lead to a better understanding of which direction to turn to, except– then I get sucked in the “editing abyss.”

    The only way out for me is to write new things and move forward, but it’s very hard… And then I get stuck again and it’s “rinse and repeat.”

    Reply
  48. Alison Juste

    I have the same habit!

    Mostly it’s when I stop writing or I’m unsure how to bridge two sections or any other ‘writer’s block’ feeling occurs. Of course, I always feel that re-reading myself will lead to a better understanding of which direction to turn to, except– then I get sucked in the “editing abyss.”

    The only way out for me is to write new things and move forward, but it’s very hard… And then I get stuck again and it’s “rinse and repeat.”

    Reply
  49. Jacob Lascsak

    I typically write a section at a time (or chapter in the novel I am slowly churning out), and then after writing a complete section, I sleep and wake up ready to edit it. On the other hand, I sometimes write a whole story before I edit it. The process honestly depends on how smoothly my creative juices are flowing.

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  50. Jacob Lascsak

    I typically write a section at a time (or chapter in the novel I am slowly churning out), and then after writing a complete section, I sleep and wake up ready to edit it. On the other hand, I sometimes write a whole story before I edit it. The process honestly depends on how smoothly my creative juices are flowing.

    Reply
  51. Creative Mysteries

    I used to edit as I write but it became a problem when I could never get anything finished. I did NaNoWriMo in 2012, won, but couldn’t move forward because I was stuck on how poorly the story was written. I kept going back, making changes, and before long I ended up abandoning the novel. In Camp NaNoWriMo, I vowed not to edit as I write. What resulted was a completed first draft and something to work with. Now that I’m doing my revisions I’m glad I made the decision to not stop and edit as I write.

    Nora Roberts quote is what got me through the first draft: “You can’t edit a blank page”.

    Reply
  52. Creative Mysteries

    I used to edit as I write but it became a problem when I could never get anything finished. I did NaNoWriMo in 2012, won, but couldn’t move forward because I was stuck on how poorly the story was written. I kept going back, making changes, and before long I ended up abandoning the novel. In Camp NaNoWriMo, I vowed not to edit as I write. What resulted was a completed first draft and something to work with. Now that I’m doing my revisions I’m glad I made the decision to not stop and edit as I write.

    Nora Roberts quote is what got me through the first draft: “You can’t edit a blank page”.

    Reply
  53. Daniel

    I’m so with you on this. I have to work hard to not edit myself as I write. I find I do a much better job when I have a deadline (a script due by a certain date, typically) and then I plug through to the end and go back to clean it up after. But if I’m writing on spec, I question everything I do which grinds the progress to such a slow pace.

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  54. Daniel

    I’m so with you on this. I have to work hard to not edit myself as I write. I find I do a much better job when I have a deadline (a script due by a certain date, typically) and then I plug through to the end and go back to clean it up after. But if I’m writing on spec, I question everything I do which grinds the progress to such a slow pace.

    Reply
  55. Brigid Gorry-Hines

    I don’t edit very much as I write––usually only to fix typos or other small mistakes I notice. But I try to just tear through that first draft without looking back, because I know if I start trying to fix one thing I’ll just start wanting to fix everything. I think what’s important is to just get that rough draft down on paper first, knowing the whole time that it isn’t perfect. As one of my favorite high school English teachers always bluntly put it, “All rough drafts are sh**.” ;) I think it helps to accept that the first draft is not going to be perfect; so you just need to get through it, and then go back and start editing later.

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  56. Brigid Gorry-Hines

    I don’t edit very much as I write––usually only to fix typos or other small mistakes I notice. But I try to just tear through that first draft without looking back, because I know if I start trying to fix one thing I’ll just start wanting to fix everything. I think what’s important is to just get that rough draft down on paper first, knowing the whole time that it isn’t perfect. As one of my favorite high school English teachers always bluntly put it, “All rough drafts are sh**.” ;) I think it helps to accept that the first draft is not going to be perfect; so you just need to get through it, and then go back and start editing later.

    Reply
  57. Kimberly M. Ringer

    I do edit as I go, but during NaNoWriMo I was actually able to just turn it off to a certain extent, and just write. When I couldn’t come up with a coherent thought or original idea to progress my story, I would go back and re-read what I had already written and do some editing there. So I guess in a way, I do both. I do have to edit to a certain extent while writing though.

    Reply
  58. Kimberly M. Ringer

    I do edit as I go, but during NaNoWriMo I was actually able to just turn it off to a certain extent, and just write. When I couldn’t come up with a coherent thought or original idea to progress my story, I would go back and re-read what I had already written and do some editing there. So I guess in a way, I do both. I do have to edit to a certain extent while writing though.

    Reply
  59. suebee51

    It depends on the piece. If it is non-fiction, it’s easier for me to write and then edit later. A novel is another story. It is so easy to get off track and suddenly find myself somewhere else in my story that doesn’t make sense with what I have written previously. Then I go back and see what I need to change (or keep) in order for the storyline to be consistent. I also belong to a critique group that is great at editing and finding my inconsistencies, so I take about 10 pages to the group and they do a lot of the editing for me.

    Reply
  60. suebee51

    It depends on the piece. If it is non-fiction, it’s easier for me to write and then edit later. A novel is another story. It is so easy to get off track and suddenly find myself somewhere else in my story that doesn’t make sense with what I have written previously. Then I go back and see what I need to change (or keep) in order for the storyline to be consistent. I also belong to a critique group that is great at editing and finding my inconsistencies, so I take about 10 pages to the group and they do a lot of the editing for me.

    Reply
  61. widdershins

    I did NaNo this year … erm … last year and although I finished with a 50,000+ word count, I realised about halfway through that I really, really, really don’t like not editing as I go. I kind of knew it beforehand, but sticking to the NaNo ‘rule’ of not editing made it crystal clear. I might do NaNo again this year, but I’ll be editing as I go, that’s for sure!

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  62. widdershins

    I did NaNo this year … erm … last year and although I finished with a 50,000+ word count, I realised about halfway through that I really, really, really don’t like not editing as I go. I kind of knew it beforehand, but sticking to the NaNo ‘rule’ of not editing made it crystal clear. I might do NaNo again this year, but I’ll be editing as I go, that’s for sure!

    Reply
  63. halfbreedfox

    I finished NaNoWriMo this past November and I have the same editing problem as you.
    But I turned off my inner editor (not an easy thing to do) and focused on the word count for all of November. I really wanted to finally put my ideas onto (digital) paper and this was the event to motivate me. If a scene came to mind, I wrote it down. I can edit later. It was great because looking back on it now, there are tid-bits and fun little scenes that I could have easily forgotten if I got caught up on adjectives or sentence structure.
    But yes, most of the story is a train-wreck that needs to be cleared up. But the ideas and essential workings are there, just waiting to be rearranged and polished. :)

    I enthusiastically suggest that you try NaNoWriMo again next year, or even try one of their summer writing camps. :) It’ll feel good have all those words out and ready for you.

    Reply
  64. halfbreedfox

    I finished NaNoWriMo this past November and I have the same editing problem as you.
    But I turned off my inner editor (not an easy thing to do) and focused on the word count for all of November. I really wanted to finally put my ideas onto (digital) paper and this was the event to motivate me. If a scene came to mind, I wrote it down. I can edit later. It was great because looking back on it now, there are tid-bits and fun little scenes that I could have easily forgotten if I got caught up on adjectives or sentence structure.
    But yes, most of the story is a train-wreck that needs to be cleared up. But the ideas and essential workings are there, just waiting to be rearranged and polished. :)

    I enthusiastically suggest that you try NaNoWriMo again next year, or even try one of their summer writing camps. :) It’ll feel good have all those words out and ready for you.

    Reply
  65. Simon King

    Hi Jodie – I call the act of creating and editing “crediting” and I try to avoid it at all costs because it kills my creativity. Write first, edit later. Have a great year! Simon.

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  66. Simon King

    Hi Jodie – I call the act of creating and editing “crediting” and I try to avoid it at all costs because it kills my creativity. Write first, edit later. Have a great year! Simon.

    Reply
  67. hrchristian

    I always edit later, after I finish the entire book, so I’m sure to get everything out while it is fresh in my mind. Then I edit chapter by chapter. If I stopped and edited every 1000 words, I’d never get it done!

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  68. hrchristian

    I always edit later, after I finish the entire book, so I’m sure to get everything out while it is fresh in my mind. Then I edit chapter by chapter. If I stopped and edited every 1000 words, I’d never get it done!

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  69. laurieanichols

    I write as I think and when I’m “done” I go back and check for spelling, grammar, fluidity and logical progression. That is as much editing as it gets. I have discovered that I only have enough creative stamina to belt out around 2500 words a day, more than that and my brain feels fried.

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  70. laurieanichols

    I write as I think and when I’m “done” I go back and check for spelling, grammar, fluidity and logical progression. That is as much editing as it gets. I have discovered that I only have enough creative stamina to belt out around 2500 words a day, more than that and my brain feels fried.

    Reply
  71. eriklehman

    Let it flow, churn em out, ’cause like Hemingway says, “First drafts are always like biological waste,” … Get it out of your mind first, edit later. That’s my opinion, and what works for me when I’m on a journey of a quarter million words.

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  72. eriklehman

    Let it flow, churn em out, ’cause like Hemingway says, “First drafts are always like biological waste,” … Get it out of your mind first, edit later. That’s my opinion, and what works for me when I’m on a journey of a quarter million words.

    Reply
  73. inkhearted

    I’m a NaNo veteran and I used to have no trouble just writing without editing. Lately, though, I keep second-guessing myself. I didn’t finish last November for the first time because I keep going back and editing. I don’t know what happened to cause the change, but I really want to go back to not caring!

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  74. inkhearted

    I’m a NaNo veteran and I used to have no trouble just writing without editing. Lately, though, I keep second-guessing myself. I didn’t finish last November for the first time because I keep going back and editing. I don’t know what happened to cause the change, but I really want to go back to not caring!

    Reply
  75. melodyspen

    I tend to just keep writing, unless I’ve lost my way. When I find my plot stalling, then I go back and edit. It usually gets me going in the right direction again. This isn’t always true, of course. Sometimes, I edit quite a bit, because it’s second nature to ‘correct’ things if I go back to read it for any reason before finishing.

    Reply
  76. melodyspen

    I tend to just keep writing, unless I’ve lost my way. When I find my plot stalling, then I go back and edit. It usually gets me going in the right direction again. This isn’t always true, of course. Sometimes, I edit quite a bit, because it’s second nature to ‘correct’ things if I go back to read it for any reason before finishing.

    Reply
  77. mbarkersimpson

    I can be a little obsessive too, as far as editing is concerned. I’ve been known to edit and rework a simple text message! Having said that, when I’m writing a chapter, or a short story, I generally write until I run out of steam and then go back. It’s not always a pretty sight, but I generally gain something from it.

    Reply
  78. mbarkersimpson

    I can be a little obsessive too, as far as editing is concerned. I’ve been known to edit and rework a simple text message! Having said that, when I’m writing a chapter, or a short story, I generally write until I run out of steam and then go back. It’s not always a pretty sight, but I generally gain something from it.

    Reply
  79. ebthompson93

    I don’t edit when I’m writing. I save that all for after I’ve told the story I set out to tell. Sometimes when I need some inspiration, I’ll go back and reread parts of it. If I see a spelling mistake or some other horrendous error, I’ll usually fix it there. But that’s the exception rather than the rule.

    Reply
  80. ebthompson93

    I don’t edit when I’m writing. I save that all for after I’ve told the story I set out to tell. Sometimes when I need some inspiration, I’ll go back and reread parts of it. If I see a spelling mistake or some other horrendous error, I’ll usually fix it there. But that’s the exception rather than the rule.

    Reply
  81. Noah Weiss

    If I am writing (prose, poetry, or personal narrative), I tend not to do any editing (other than deleting typos from typing too quickly). Since my writing style is more free, my idea is that it is easier to edit by deleting ideas than it is to edit by coming up with new ideas. In other words, with the first draft, more is better.

    HOWEVER… if I am working on a technical paper, I necessarily have to get caught up in the little details (math will do that to you.)

    Your post inspires me to write something about it…

    Reply
  82. Noah Weiss

    If I am writing (prose, poetry, or personal narrative), I tend not to do any editing (other than deleting typos from typing too quickly). Since my writing style is more free, my idea is that it is easier to edit by deleting ideas than it is to edit by coming up with new ideas. In other words, with the first draft, more is better.

    HOWEVER… if I am working on a technical paper, I necessarily have to get caught up in the little details (math will do that to you.)

    Your post inspires me to write something about it…

    Reply
  83. johncoyote

    I can’t edit and write. I write epic everything. I must do a re-check for tenses and flow of story. Editing your own work can be hard. Sometime hard to see the mistakes.

    Reply
  84. johncoyote

    I can’t edit and write. I write epic everything. I must do a re-check for tenses and flow of story. Editing your own work can be hard. Sometime hard to see the mistakes.

    Reply
  85. hugmamma

    I’m an edit-as-I-write type. That’s probably why I have so many stories started, but never finished. One of these days I’ll break the pattern. One of these days…

    Reply
  86. hugmamma

    I’m an edit-as-I-write type. That’s probably why I have so many stories started, but never finished. One of these days I’ll break the pattern. One of these days…

    Reply
  87. Wendell A. Brown

    The majority of the time, months or years after writing my poems, recently I have gotten a little better, but I still reverse words and even sometimes a complete line. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!

    Reply
  88. Wendell A. Brown

    The majority of the time, months or years after writing my poems, recently I have gotten a little better, but I still reverse words and even sometimes a complete line. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!

    Reply
  89. pauljgies

    I do tend to edit as I go, but I need to just to maintain continuity, because I write 500-1000 words per day (and have a full time job). After I finish a novel, I will rewrite and rewrite and rewrite and then go back and rewrite some more.

    Reply
  90. pauljgies

    I do tend to edit as I go, but I need to just to maintain continuity, because I write 500-1000 words per day (and have a full time job). After I finish a novel, I will rewrite and rewrite and rewrite and then go back and rewrite some more.

    Reply
  91. Meghan Marentette

    I edit the previous day’s work before going on to write new words. It helps me process and figure out what’s coming next. I don’t write with much of an outline so I write quite slowly. But don’t worry about what other people do. Do what you do.

    Reply
  92. Meghan Marentette

    I edit the previous day’s work before going on to write new words. It helps me process and figure out what’s coming next. I don’t write with much of an outline so I write quite slowly. But don’t worry about what other people do. Do what you do.

    Reply
  93. sarahlearichards

    I am a perfectionist. It’s hard for me to just free write, unless it’s something short that I can immediately go back to and edit.

    Reply
  94. sarahlearichards

    I am a perfectionist. It’s hard for me to just free write, unless it’s something short that I can immediately go back to and edit.

    Reply
  95. The Spirit of the Goddess Minerva

    Hi and thanks for the follow.

    No, I don’t edit as I write. Mostly I wrote poetry. My way of writing most of it is something I call “Method Poetry”. (smile) You know, like method acting. Sometimes I even close my eyes to REALLY focus on emotions and nuances while I tap away. So, no, editing would be too left brained during the process. Later however I go over it closely and do whatever clean up needs to be done.

    Reply
  96. The Spirit of the Goddess Minerva

    Hi and thanks for the follow.

    No, I don’t edit as I write. Mostly I wrote poetry. My way of writing most of it is something I call “Method Poetry”. (smile) You know, like method acting. Sometimes I even close my eyes to REALLY focus on emotions and nuances while I tap away. So, no, editing would be too left brained during the process. Later however I go over it closely and do whatever clean up needs to be done.

    Reply
  97. abandoned

    Hi Jodie, The editing trap is what kept me moving ahead with writing for so long. All of my stories got about a chapter/chapter and a half long and then I would be stuck editing, hating it, and never moving on. That is why I started my blog. Besides a little break for the holidays, having a schedule for posting means that I have a set time limit before I have to be ok with what’s on the page and just move on. I plan on re-editing the whole thing when the first draft is done.

    Reply
  98. abandoned

    Hi Jodie, The editing trap is what kept me moving ahead with writing for so long. All of my stories got about a chapter/chapter and a half long and then I would be stuck editing, hating it, and never moving on. That is why I started my blog. Besides a little break for the holidays, having a schedule for posting means that I have a set time limit before I have to be ok with what’s on the page and just move on. I plan on re-editing the whole thing when the first draft is done.

    Reply
  99. mbanks33

    I thought I was one of the few who did this! For me, it’s after every 50 words or less!!!! I hate it when I do that. But it’s good to know my fellow colleagues struggle with this as well. (Helps to keep me stabilized!)

    Reply
  100. mbanks33

    I thought I was one of the few who did this! For me, it’s after every 50 words or less!!!! I hate it when I do that. But it’s good to know my fellow colleagues struggle with this as well. (Helps to keep me stabilized!)

    Reply
  101. ashtree_artisan

    Oh my god, I have to edit.

    I think 1000 words is about right; I’ll write something in a spurt, and when I run out of steam I’ll go back and read it, tweak it, and get an idea of how to continue. I find that I won’t go off track in my scene or chapter if I keep checking back to see where I’ve come from and compare that to where I want to end up. Editing helps keep the juices flowing for me.

    Reply
  102. ashtree_artisan

    Oh my god, I have to edit.

    I think 1000 words is about right; I’ll write something in a spurt, and when I run out of steam I’ll go back and read it, tweak it, and get an idea of how to continue. I find that I won’t go off track in my scene or chapter if I keep checking back to see where I’ve come from and compare that to where I want to end up. Editing helps keep the juices flowing for me.

    Reply
  103. AleXai

    Sometimes I just write, sometimes I read a paragraph and say: what is this? What did I mean by that? So yes I guess I edit while writing it is quite difficult not to edit. All of us are perfectionists in the depths of our souls or at least we want our works to be as flawless as possible.

    Reply
  104. AleXai

    Sometimes I just write, sometimes I read a paragraph and say: what is this? What did I mean by that? So yes I guess I edit while writing it is quite difficult not to edit. All of us are perfectionists in the depths of our souls or at least we want our works to be as flawless as possible.

    Reply
  105. melindawrites

    I edit as I go. I know the experts say not to, but I can’t help myself. Now that I am writing poetry instead of trying to stories it works for me. I write until the thought stops. Then I read aloud what I’ve written and the next thought comes. If it needs to rhyme and I’m not sure what’s next, I write down words that rhyme and usually one will appear that opens the path. What sounds good in your head or on the page often sounds very different out loud. If it sounds good out loud, it will sound good on the page. I go back to edit, tweak, revise, expand, pitch…or (on rare occassions) just love it the way it came to me. Thanks for this question Jodie. I think I’ll talk about this topic in my April post.

    Reply
  106. melindawrites

    I edit as I go. I know the experts say not to, but I can’t help myself. Now that I am writing poetry instead of trying to stories it works for me. I write until the thought stops. Then I read aloud what I’ve written and the next thought comes. If it needs to rhyme and I’m not sure what’s next, I write down words that rhyme and usually one will appear that opens the path. What sounds good in your head or on the page often sounds very different out loud. If it sounds good out loud, it will sound good on the page. I go back to edit, tweak, revise, expand, pitch…or (on rare occassions) just love it the way it came to me. Thanks for this question Jodie. I think I’ll talk about this topic in my April post.

    Reply
  107. catsandog

    Being a teacher it is hard for me to not edit my work as I go along. I forced myself to think of my writing as a scene from a movie so I don’t interrupt the flow. When I get to the point where I can’t think of where it’s headed and can’t continue I stop and let it sit. The next time I write I reread the passage without editing and continue the scene. If what I have written doesn’t flow with the new writing, THEN I edit to polish my thoughts so everything makes sense together. And then another day I may just edit as that helps give me inspiration for continuing a “scene.” I don’t know how other people do it–I’m assuming I’m being very strange! But hey, if it works for me it might work for someone else! I guess I just let my ideas flow. That’s the short answer! Editing can be done at one sitting with no other writing–(on “off” days) If editing interferes with your writing, (ideas) then it’s not serving it’s purpose and you have to let it wait. Be the Artist you were meant to be–silence “the critic” when you create!!

    Reply
    1. dustomundo

      I used to be really bad about editing while I wrote, but though my first NaNo attempt was a failure, I learned something about my self: I can keep the words churning and edit later. However, the perfectionist in me is strongly protesting every step of the way..

      Reply
  108. catsandog

    Being a teacher it is hard for me to not edit my work as I go along. I forced myself to think of my writing as a scene from a movie so I don’t interrupt the flow. When I get to the point where I can’t think of where it’s headed and can’t continue I stop and let it sit. The next time I write I reread the passage without editing and continue the scene. If what I have written doesn’t flow with the new writing, THEN I edit to polish my thoughts so everything makes sense together. And then another day I may just edit as that helps give me inspiration for continuing a “scene.” I don’t know how other people do it–I’m assuming I’m being very strange! But hey, if it works for me it might work for someone else! I guess I just let my ideas flow. That’s the short answer! Editing can be done at one sitting with no other writing–(on “off” days) If editing interferes with your writing, (ideas) then it’s not serving it’s purpose and you have to let it wait. Be the Artist you were meant to be–silence “the critic” when you create!!

    Reply
    1. dustomundo

      I used to be really bad about editing while I wrote, but though my first NaNo attempt was a failure, I learned something about my self: I can keep the words churning and edit later. However, the perfectionist in me is strongly protesting every step of the way..

      Reply

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