There’s a little watchword, in creative writing circles: during the creative process, banish that editing devil from your shoulder and just channel the flow. Shoot for the moon, in other words, and adjust the trajectory later.
I have a friend who can’t get going until they hone the first sentence of their effort to perfection. But that places the nagging editor front and centre. I’m learning to love that zone where, eyes slightly unfocussed, fingers dancing over the keys, I just let the words come. If I can get the story out, in whatever rough and ready form, then I hope I can finesse things later.
Most of the fun, the joy, of writing for me comes from that effortless sense of creativity, as words appear as if by magic on the screen. Over the past few years in which I’ve been earnest about writing, whether it’s been creative non-fiction as in AllendaleDiary.org or in developing a premise for a novel, a short story, or a frankly emotive poem, I’ve shot for the moon many times. Many times I’ve fallen short. But many’s the time, also, I’m surprised and delighted by what joys are revealed when I least expect it.
The thing is, if you don’t get the words down, you’ve not got a first draft to play with. So if you go for the joy in the first place, while recognising that further joy will accrue during the editing process, when le mot juste appears, you’re laughing, I think.
Laughing all the way to the moon. Let the creativity flow.
These are my strict admonitions to myself, as I reach the final phase of my third novel. If I pull up, invoke the editor at this point, I fear the creativity will be overwhelmed, and the novel will founder. But just like the Titanic when the fifth hull chamber is flooded, it will surely founder anyway if I stop. Full steam ahead then, shoot for the moon!
Follow your own path, my beta reader tells me, and I resolve, falling gently asleep, to try.