Thursday, February 17, 2011


How many of us do it.  I know it is important to auto-edit ourselves, I mean, good lord, imagine what the world would be like if we didn't.  Some folks seem to auto-edit themselves to a standstill though.  Especially when pursuing creative activities.

I know one woman here, a fluent and educated speaker, who when she writes, in whatever language....and she has three that she's fluent in, she seizes up and what comes out is stilted and awkward.

I am working with her on getting over this..she is also a student of mine....and it is an interesting challenge. I auto-edit on this site, partially because I am a wee bit coy about our identities - and I'm very good with that - so some editing happens there.  Some also happens as I don't want to write about just anything at all.  There is also a certain amount of tailoring to the medium, and in the past an occasional urge to write the kids of posts that garner the most comments...if I were to pursue that it would be all Chuck all the time I might add....not quite true, only nearly.

But some people auto-edit, or self-judge themselves so much that what emerges is stifled, stilted and awkward.

How to get around it?  To switch off that voice in the head telling stopping you before you even get the pen down, or brush wet.

For me, what we are trying now is unjudged volume.  Simply trying to flood the editor with sheer mass or words till he wearies of the task.  Get things flowing so to speak....

Any ideas?


The Bodhi Chicklet said...

Hmmm, usually my issue is not auto-editing enough, or quickly enough. How about some primal scream therapy (not kidding) - something to loosen the muscles in the chest and throat. Just a thought, but since you asked...

J.G. said...

I'm on the Think Too Much side of this. Developing some encouraging self-talk often helps.

Currently I'm using "You can't do it wrong" for creative stuff (very important not to get all judgy and add "So get off your butt and do something!").

Anonymous said...

I'm actually more of the spontaneous, never auto-edit, never go back kind of guy. Drafts are for wussies, type like there's no tomorrow.
It forces a special mindset, where you have to be sure of either what you're doing, or that you won't regret it afterwards :)

Mother Theresa said...

For writing I don't auto-edit much. I rarely do drafts. When I speak, I often think too much and worry that I might say the wrong thing. But when I write, it just comes out, no idea why it works this way. But writing takes practice and more practice, especially to make it sound natural.

oreneta said...

Kim....I lean more your way than the other too, and if I err, it tends to be on the side of saying too much, not too little. ooop.s

JG, I like that line.....though she is ultimately aiming at an she can! Some version thereof though.

ElP; that is pretty much exactly where I sit too, as can be evidenced by the typos and errors in my blog.

Mother T, the practice aspect is why I am trying to just simply get her to write, try to crack this baby open a bit more.

Peter H said...

Got to let it flow........much better to recheck every few paragraphs. But for a blog,there is no second chance once "send" is at least a cursory check edit is needed.

i have a 2 minute "delay" set up on my work outlook......can get it back before it goes. THAT is handy!!

oreneta said...

The delay is a good idea, sort of like a cooling off period for bad spellers!