Thursday, January 7, 2010

Want to Keep Writing? Try Editing

It's January, the weather is bad or about to get bad, or worse. Your toe hurts, the cat's rubbed on everything you've just vacuumed, your in-laws are moving closer and closer and closer … You feel as much like writing as getting a root canal. But the quote for this month is right on target. Writing can drive you to distraction, yet it can be a great encouragement. One way to get back into it is to edit something. Not your entire novel, at least not in one sitting, but a scene or short story. If you haven't written in a while or if you haven't written yet today, your first thought will probably be a list of reasons not to. The best thing to do is shut your mind off, like I have to when I consider exercise. Go pull out the piece like you'd pull out your cell or your remote. Don't give it a second thought. Just get the piece up on the laptop or out of the drawer, open it and read. Pretend it's someone else's. Get out your pen or mouse and chip away, one word at a time. That's it. Well, what are you waiting for?

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