The brilliant idea.
You take your color-coded index cards, pages of outline, and the daydreams of seeing the shiny cover of your (now published and in its fourth printing) book and get to work!
But then . . .somewhere in the middle, things get difficult.
Before you know it . . .
that work in progress isn't really working anymore. Suddenly you are cranking out a few thousands words in a writing session. Sometimes stories need to simmer in our brains. Sometimes we need distance to gain perspective. But sometimes our fear of making mistakes drains our creativity faster than a newly Drainoed pipe.
Five Signs The Fear Monster is Eating Your Words
*You write a sentence. Decide to move a comma. Five minutes later, after heavy consideration, you move the comma back to its original location.
*You start a chapter, write three paragraphs, decide it all sucks and rest your finger on the backspace key for a solid two minutes.
*You write a sentence, decide you're thirsty, and return to your computer two hours, one cappuccino, and three Friends reruns later.
*You've reread your previous progress enough times to have it memorized (complete with a variety of different voice options for a side character that only makes an appearance twice in the whole story).
*You open your document, stare at it for a minute, then close it again. For the fourth day in a row.
While some things, such as comma placement and scene cutting are great for the revision phase, they shouldn't weigh you down while drafting. Sometimes being overly critical of your work in the beginning stage can cause you to be too stagnant and never make progress. So push that fear monster aside and let the creative juices flow. There will be plenty of time to fine tune once that draft is finished!
Do you edit as you write? Do you ever feel it stifles your creativity in the drafting process?