The last couple of days, I’ve concentrated on going as fast as I can when I write my 750 words. I’m not worrying about the number of typos I make, nor am I concerning myself with what exactly I’m saying. Yesterday, my average words per minute was 28, today it was 33. That’s for a guy typing with one hand.
I asked myself, why does it take me a couple of hours to write some of these blog entries?
I thought about it, and I realized that I’m typing so slow that I actually have time to think about what I’m typing. And about halfway through a blog entry, or a paragraph, or even a sentence, I start to question myself. That results in my backing up and rewriting the sentence, which leads to rewriting the paragraph, which leads to rewriting the whole blog entry or, worse, scrapping the whole thing and starting over.
Worsmithing on the fly. Can’t be doing that. Why am I doing it?
- I get codependent and think that something I’m writing is going to hurt someone’s feelings. Even a sentence as innocuous as “It’s raining cats and dogs out there” has me thinking, a dog lover or a cat lover is going to read that and take offense, or I’ll be reported to PETA and they’re going to be standing outside my door and protesting and probably throw fake blood on me. And that’s ridiculous.
I regress to third grade, when Mother Juanita would make nasty comments about the things I wrote and my handwriting and I think, can’t say it that way, better find a better way to say that. They won’t like that. So, even though I’ve been on a roll, I have to back up and change everything, leading me to start reading things that I’ve already written and think, nah, this ain’t gonna do, and I end up sending it off to the drafts, or worse, the trash. I picture the nun crumbling up the paper I had written on, throwing it in the wastebasket, and telling me to do it again.
I start writing and realize that I’m missing something that I need to complete the post, and I go off looking for it, and meanwhile I start thinking that what I had written already wasn’t very good and that I should rewrite it, or at least check my facts, and I come to the conclusion that I’ve gone off half-cocked and maybe I should just ditch the idea and come back to it when I’m better prepared.
I know I’ve talked about this in the past all the while exhorting myself not to do it, but, well, I can’t avoid it. And it’s costing me time and words. I think I saw someone say that the number of words they’ve written is nothing compared to the number of words they’ve written and thrown away. I know what that person was talking about.
And I know the things I said above are BS. The third one’s legitimate, I do go off half-cocked sometimes and need to do a better job of preparing. But the other two? Pure unadulterated BS.
- If someone gets their panties in a wad over something I’ve written, that ain’t my problem. I am not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings or piss anyone off. They need to get over it.
Mother Juanita was fifty years ago. She’s probably dead by now. And she got thrown out of the convent, anyway.
Okay, well, I’ve had my rant. So I’m adding this to my list of ROW80 goals: practice not wordsmithing on the fly.
Did you have this problem? Did you struggle with wordsmithing on the fly? What finally broke you of it?
7 thoughts on “No More Wordsmithing On The Fly!”
The ability to drop my critical mind when typing was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve ever accomplished. To be able to push through and just write without worrying about whether or not it’s any good is invaluable to a writer, I think. I get more things done, and I get them done quicker, and there’s always, always, always editing. One of my favorite quotes about writing comes from Michael Crichton, “Books aren’t written; they’re rewritten.”
As far as blog posts go, where we don’t so much rewrite and revise, I know I like to read posts where people are being honest and casual. I read them more for the person behind the words, not for how polished those words may be.
Right. The immediacy of a blog post is the important thing, even if it was written several days in advance. With a book or short story, you need to take the time to rewrite and revise and do your wordsmithing. With a blog, not so much.
This is brilliant, like you I’m a one thumb typer. I let the words pour out of my head and onto the screen. And when I go back to make corrections I lose my flow of thoughts. So now I just babble and work on punctuation after.
I’m thinking I might want to get back to using dictation software for that purpose. I had been trying to use Dragon Dictate and got frustrated with it, then tried going back to it and didn’t have the appropriate level of software and it’s been just one thing after another. I think I’ll try the Mac dicttion software and see if it makes a difference.
I think as bloggers we can be our own worse critics. I always hear my Mom in my head while I write. She was my loving, grammar cop. She raised all us kids to speak and write articulately and with confidence. I don’t know anything about dictation software, but I do know a thing or two about writing from my heart. And after reading your blog I believe you do too John. 😊
Well, thank you. I’m working hard to learn it, anyway…
You’re very welcome. Keep up the great work, if it’s worth working for its worth having. 😊
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