As a writer I have one golden rule, something I never do when it comes to writing my first draft. Be it a novel, a short story, or a piece for my blog, it is something in-grained into my writing technique. My golden rule is very simple.
I Never Read What I Have Just Written.
No, I don’t mean I never read anything I write. That would be less than ridiculous. What I don’t do is write a sentence, stop, and read it back. Because I can guarantee that whatever it is I have written, it will have at least one spelling mistake. So, I turn off spelling and grammar checker and just write. Once I have finished my writing session, then of course I read back over what I’ve written, but not before that.
I used to write a sentence, stop, read it, and make changes. But what I discovered was I was stopping myself getting into the writing zone, that twilight area that takes over from a conscious writing effort into an auto-pilot mode. It’s a strange zone some writers go where they produce some of their best writing and never seem to be aware of what it is they are writing. It’s great for long pieces or whole chapters in a book.
With a laptop it’s even easier stopping myself reading my writing too soon. If I want to go to the loo for a pee, then I just click save and shut the lid on the laptop and leave it until I want to go back to writing. At that point I may well read back and make a few changes, but only when I’ve written sufficient words, say 300-500 to be satisfied it’s good enough to consider using it. If it reads well, I’ll keep it. If it’s rubbish, I discard it or put it on one side and leave it a while long and write something else.
Writing for me is very much one-part formulaic and one-part inspiration. You can’t do magic without a magic formula, can you?
Copyright © Tom Kane 2021
Words are my tools, inspiration is my game. Click the link below to read some of my words here, for free.