Monday, February 7, 2011

Writing Ain’t Easy: Me & My Inner Editor

With all the writing advice I offer on this blog, I may appear to be in control, to have all the answers, and think writing is easy. Well, I want you to meet Bob…

Bob is my inner editor. He doesn’t like me when I’m working on a new project. He snuffles and snarls at me. He keeps butting in and tries to give me suggestions.

I tell Bob to go away.

He doesn’t listen.

I remind him of all the wonderful shinies he can play with once I’ve finished the first draft. I entice him with bad grammar, clumsy sentence structure, and adverbs he can fix later.

He begins to salivate.

For a while, he stays in his corner, but it doesn’t take long before he ventures out again.

I tell him to go away.

He howls.

I slap him.

He moans.

I ignore him.

He whimpers and pretends he is wounded.

I finish my first draft.

Bob cheers and pops open a bottle of champagne.

I begin my revisions and give Bob a nudge.

Bob’s fallen asleep.

What’s your experience with your inner editor?

*This post was inspired by Vic’s Friday post at Hairnets and Hopes.


  1. Awwww give Bob a great big hug from me!! Poor Bob - what a cutie!!! :-)

    I wish my inner editor (called Fred) could meet Bob and they'd have a chit chat and compare notes and maybe Fred would pick up a thing or two too!!

    Take care

  2. Old Kitty, lol, I think Bob would only teach Fred bad habits. They run amok without supervision. ;)

  3. Haha, asleep when you most need him, huh? That's funny. Hmm, I don't think mine ever sleeps. I just have to gag her (it feels annoyingly female LOL) a little during my rough drafts and let her go WILD on the successive rounds. ;o)

  4. I laughed when poor Bob fell asleep. My IE can be pretty nasty and stubborn at times. She can drive me nuts :)

  5. LOL this is hilarious! I'm getting ready to start a new project, and I'm going to name my inner editor too, maybe it will help me get through it!

  6. that bob!!!!
    what a rascal! :D
    hmmm.... giving it a name might help. isn't there a bunch of folklore out there that says if you know the name (aka nature) or something, you can wield control over it? hmmm....
    you are ALWAYS making me think, layd! :)
    love this post! :)

  7. Cute and funny post.

    I actually don't mind editing .... unless it on my first ms. I've been editing my first book for 18 months. I am on THE final edit. I am bored, tired, and falling asleep while doing it. BUT I will finish.

    After writing and editing my second full book, I learned so much that now this final edit really will be the final. My second book I edited in two weeks. It's out to crit partners now. Hopefully it won't need much work.

    Tell BOB to wake up.... lol


  8. Haha, I love this entry. :) My experience is also (usually) that I am feeling the urge to edit as I write the first draft. And yet with a current first draft I'm finishing off, I don't feel that urge, possibly because I know the entire ms needs heaps of work and is a big mess, so I'm not even tempted right now to focus on the nitpicky stuff. ;)

  9. My inner editor is a she and she's very coddling and patient with me. I know she's going to want something out of me in the end, but that's fine as long as I get my work done and it's good.

    Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011

  10. Hi Lynda...I love that creature called Bob. Think he is related to my Inner Editor Sam. Sam can be extremely irritating and impatient at times. Sometimes he is kinda nice and helpful.

    Please display the Helping Hand Award on your sidebar and pass it on.

  11. Awesome post, Lynda!

    I've learned to lock my inner editor away in a box until I need her. Took me years, though, before I had the courage to do this! And the drawback is that when I finally do take her out of the box, she's sluggish and rusty and she takes forever to get going.

  12. Girl Friday, Bob can be such a niucance ;)

    Carol, Bob seems to run wild more when I read other people's work ;)

    Dezzy, yes he is indeed.

    Jemi, I can soooo relate :)

    Karen, oh! what's his/her name going to be?

  13. Aspiring, true..I've heard that folklore thingy before too. Give it a try. Can't hurt ;)

    Michael, yep, the more we write the easier the process becomes (not the writing, just the process)
    PS I bought a set of cymbols for Bob. (insert evil laugh)

    Trisha, you're lucky, a mere mess doesn't keep Bob at bay ;)

  14. Lee, wanna swap inner editors? I like the sound of yours.

    Rachna, I'm thinking Sam and Bob might be long lost cousins...

    Jennifer, is there any room for Bob in that box? I hear you on the sluggish and rusty part though. Bob's the same.

  15. Now it's your turn to howl and scream and moan. ;-P

  16. My inner editor is annoying! She expects me to be a perfectionist but that's not me... well, maybe it is but I'm annoyed to have it always thrown in my face.

  17. Great post, Lynda! My inner editor is always lurking in the corners of my mind...

  18. Great post! That darn Bob, I think he's dating the muse, hence his fickle nature.

  19. I've got my own Bob, who drives me MENTAL!

    I wish Bob would go on holiday for a bit.

  20. I can so relate to my internal editor going to sleep, except I think mine goes into a coma and it's ages before I make her come up from several stages of unconsciousness to be of any help.

  21. Lynda, I never visited this blog of yours before. Your little 'Bob' guy is hilarious!

  22. Lol, I had to do a post about this, too, because my internal editor was giving me problems with my last manuscript. I tricked him with this new WIP, we'll see how long it lasts.

  23. Bob fell asleep - isn't that typical! LOL. You do make me laugh.

  24. Aww, Bob looks too cute to be that bad!

  25. LOL.

    My Inner Editor is a lot like Bob. :P

  26. Misha, hahaha yes indeed! lol

    Clarissa, yep, Bob expects that too, but I often ignore him then a mini version of my crit partner pops up and they join forces and say, "You know your CP will comment on this if you don't fix it now..."

    Sharon, they are terrible lurkers too

    Patti, lol. I think Bob and my muse (Sally) don't like each other. Sally also ignores Bob.

  27. Talli, maybe if we pool our resources we can send them on holiday together...wait, that might be a bad thing. They might exchange notes and become worse.

    J L Campbell, yep, I often fear that when mine goes to sleep. I think that's why I enjoy critiquing other people's work. It wakes Bob up.

    Deborah, Welcome to my writing blog! It's good to see you here :)

  28. Cindy, hehe. It's easy to trick them in the short term, but they always come out to play again.

    Ellie, hehe

    Wendy, that's what he wants you to think ;)

    Golden, frustrating, huh? ;)

  29. I have not named mine yet, but think she's a Prudence. She's a lot like Bob sometimes. I need to quit thinking too much in a first draft. Let myself just flounder and create. Perfection often gets in the way, me thinks. Sometimes it gives me a headache.

  30. M Pax, yes, exactly, we need to allow ourselves to make those mistakes in the first draft because it doesn't matter.

  31. PS I've just noticed that Bob has my smile :)

  32. Oh noes! It's true! Maybe you guys are related? Maybe your second job is as an inner editor? Nah, you aren't annoying enough to be an inner editor so that leaves the first option. Is Bob a long lost cousin?

  33. A great post, I'm sure everyone has an inner Bob. Mine is called Fatima.

  34. Your inner editor = inner critic! Yep, every writer has one. It's about turning it off temporarily so you can bash away at your WIP. I think a good way is to say to yourself 'I''m doing my best, my first draft isnt supposed to be perfect!' It works every time! :o)

  35. Petty Witter, lol, Fatima, yeah that's a great name for an inner editor.

    DU Okonkwo, for sure. I'm always reciting to myself "It's not supposed to be perfect yet".

  36. 'tis possible, Lindy, he seem to be of the same green race as me too :) Maybe my clan kicked him out some time in the past so he ended up bothering you far away from his homeland :)
    And, no, we do not want him back :P

  37. Loved this post!
    Your Bob is such a sweetie! Mine can be so horrible sometimes. He has a tendency to make me feel bad about my writing skills. I have to be honest though, sometimes he does pat me on the shoulder! I call him: You-Know-Who.

  38. Hey Crusader!

    I love the way you describe the internal editor process. It's hard to get past that guy telling you to fix this and fix that. Then when you need him--POOF--he's gone. What's with that?

  39. Dezzy, lol, oh darnit. I was going to ask if you wanted him back too ;)

    RB Lindberg, believe me when I say Bob is no sweetie. You-Know-Who sounds better than Bob ;)

    Angela, yeah I know! frustrating huh? :)

  40. LOL! This is great. I haven't given my inner editor a name, but she sure is persistent and in my face all the time. Maybe if I gave her a horrible name she'd take the hint and go away, at least while I finish the first draft!


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