I’ve noticed, as I spend more time on my laptop, that I edit as I type. Instead of letting my creative process flow and allowing my thoughts to transmit themselves onto the screen, I will type, edit, type, edit, and type quite a bit. This can be helpful at times, but I need to be careful that I don’t stifle my creativity because of the constant interruptions.
My mind keeps thinking I am using a pencil and a yellow legal pad instead of a keyboard. If I make a mistake on my legal pad, I either erase and rewrite or cross out and write above the line. I can’t do that with a laptop. I can delete, retype, and insert. I can move, reformat, and emphasize all with a click of some buttons.
What I need to do is just type, type, type and worry about correcting later. Of course, it’s a hard habit to break. I’m so used to editing while typing. But if it affects how my ideas move from my brain onto the “page,” then I need to reevaluate how I work. I need to let the flow of the ideas take precedence.
Self-editing is important, but it mustn’t stifle the story. Write first. You will always have time to edit later.
Contributed by Catherine L. Osornio