Writing Blocks and Excessive Early Editing

Some writers work in a very disciplined, consistent way, yet seem to get no closer to the finish line. One issue that can be connected to this problem is excessive editing of first drafts. This approach makes the experience of writing slower and more stressful.

Significant mental energy is required to solve editing problems while simultaneously trying to generate ideas. Elements of perfectionism are commonly associated with this premature microscopic scrutiny of the fine points of an early draft. Frustration, doubts, fears of failure,distaste for the process, and eventually a disinclination to write are all aspects of this syndrome.

Having said this, I must also acknowledge that some very successful writers prefer to write this way and I don’t recommend changing an approach that works for you. But if you write early drafts this way and it leads to frustration and work avoidance, then you may need to develop the skill of writing multiple imperfect drafts that you perfect over several iterations, not in the first pass.

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About David Arnot Rasch

Author, psychologist, speaker, workshop leader
This entry was posted in Common Writing Block Problems, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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