Writers, how do you kill your self-editor?

Karalee’s Post #102

I’ve put my writing aside over the last few weeks. In November and December I’d written a fast first draft, well, nearly to ‘The End’, and I find it’s helpful to put my work on the back burner for a while before readdressing it with fresh eyes.

I’ve also put something else on the back burner for over twenty years that has to be addressed ASAP! My only daughter is getting married in July, and I have 40+ video tapes that I’d taken during my 3 children’s childhoods that need to be formatted on to DVD’s. Technology is amazing. So is the amount of time it takes to watch them. I’m not done yet either…. Then comes the editing….

I’m also committed to have a finished manuscript this year, complete and ready to publish. That includes formatted, edited, book jacket done, marketing platform up and running, etc., etc., etc.


So, I’m back at my manuscript again, intending to read it from start to finish, intending to lock my self-editor where she can’t find the key.

No such luck! I find it very unfortunate that I’m one of those writers that rewrites way WAY before I should rewrite. And I tend to keep rewriting, ESPECIALLY the first few scenes.

My self-editor seems to have a life of her own and can go on and on until I feel like this skeleton picture. Really.

Boy do I want to, but I haven’t yet found a way to kill her or even maim her until she can’t function properly.

2001 A Space Odyssey

My self-editor is like Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey. She takes over, looping my story around and around,  rearranging words from here to over there, adding sensory stuff and emotional ties to my characters before deleting it and adding something else, and on and on……. She takes complete control, stifling much of my creativity and ignores me like I’m not even there.

Do you get stuck like this too?

Believe me, it’s not a romantic relationship, not even a love-hate and let’s-kiss-and-make-up relationship. It’s a war. And I must win!

I would love to take my self-editor and tie her up like this (or worse) and force her to sign a contract that said, ‘Do not touch until your creative half finishes reading, digesting and getting excited about the manuscript again.’

Then I would have a chance of making progress.

And of course, once the contract was signed, I would tie her hands behind her back to make sure she behaved.

What do you feel like doing to your self-editor?


Progress this week: not much. Need to kill you-know-who.

Pies, cookies, cakes and muffins eaten: none, but felt like going to our neighborhood bakery and not coming home to you-know-who.

TV/Movies watched: Last half of Downton Abbey Season 4. Did not invite you-know-who to join me.

Goal next week: skip first few chapters in my manuscript in order to ignore you-know-who and get my work done.

Book I’m reading: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris. First book of his I’ve read and I love his humor and the style of his writing.

Happy Writing!