## Why would you want to turn off your internal editor?
Because your internal editor is mean, critical, and judgmental! It’s full of malice and rejection.
It will never let you do what you want and it always says you and you’re not good enough!
Phew… Glad I got that off my chest. 😛
But it’s true right? Your internal editor is a critic, a perfectionist who always says, “you can do better.”
That part of you has it’s purpose. But not when you’re trying to create something, something of value for yourself and those you love.
So, how to do it then?
There are 4 chief ways to turn off your internal editor when writing.
- Try easy.
- Write fast and continuously.
- Work against a limit.
- Write for the wastebasket.
I got these ideas from the book Accidental Genius. (Affiliate Link) And there are actually 3 more principles, but I found they weren’t nearly as important as the first 3, and we will go over them in this post.
#1. Try Easy
Mark Levy, author of Accidental Genius, told a story of some athletes who had a bad case of **”the Gottas.” **
These athletes were in between a rock and a hard place. They had to win, they had to perform amazingly, and as a result of their desperation, they were tensed up and unable to perform at the top of their game.
Their coach told them to stop trying so hard, or to try at about 90% effort. And when they did, and the results were amazing. They were able to make progress and achieve their desired result, something they couldn’t do when they had to perform.
#2. Write fast and continuously.
This one, upon first glance (at least to me) appears to contradict “try easy.” How can you write fast and try easy at the same time? Isn’t that what the athletes were fighting against?
It might be better said, “write as fast as comfortable,” but the second part, write continuously, means to write without stopping to think about what you’re saying.
That’s the chief function of stopping your internal editor, by going too fast to pay attention to him or her!
The principle is: write continuously without stopping to think about what you’re saying, whether it’s accurate, whether it’s true, whether it’ll make you look good or bad. Just write.
And that brings us straight way to principle…
#3. Work against a limit
Working against a time limit works great, and so does working against a word limit, or a page limit. It it all depends on the context.
When I write using pen and paper, my favorite is to fill up a whole 8.5×11″ sheet of paper, or 2 of them, or 3, but when I write using a keyword I like to use a time limit.
If you’re just starting out, try writing anywhere from 7 minutes to 12 minutes, then stop. Heck, you could try 25 minutes if you’re feeling ambitious.
The main point here is in becoming a better, more effective writer is getting words onto paper, whether digital or physical.
#4. Write for the wastebasket.
Assume that no one will ever see your writing. At least not your first draft. That’s all you. And if you’re religious, you could say that it’s between you and God.
All of these principles are just to help you get consistent in writing. They’re tips or tricks to get you to put words onto paper and not feel like since it’s not a best selling novel on the first try, why try?
Putting it all together
So to recap here: you want to turn off your internal editor so that you can get moving toward becoming a better, more effective writer. If you don’t, you will never reach your goals of writing your books, much less selling them.
To turn off your internal editor, try these 4 principles:
- Try easy. Don’t think you have to produce anything gold-medal worthy on the first try.
- Write fast and continuously. Write without stopping to think about the truth, accuracy, of impact of what you’re writing.
- Work against a limit. Write for 7 minutes, 12 minutes, fill up a whole 8.5×11″ sheet of paper, write 1000 words a day. Just have a goal and stick to it!
- Write for the wastebasket. Assume no one will ever see your writing, or at least the first draft. That way you can write freely and get your ideas past your internal editor. 🙂