When you sit down to write, you might feel like editing what you wrote over and over again.
After all, writing that’s properly edited will generally sound better than the first draft. You know this, so you work to make the words come off the page the best you can.
But you get stuck editing again and again. You can’t move on from the work, always knowing that you can make it a little bit better each time.
However, rewriting the same chapter or even story over and over again for years won’t help you improve your writing. You aren’t expanding your practice by simply redoing what you’ve already written and are comfortable with.
But how do you overcome the mindset of writer’s imperfection? Here’s how.
Take a Step Back
One strategy you can use to overcome writer’s imperfection is by taking a step back.
That means writing something and then coming back to it later. Whether that’s a few days from now or a week, the longer you let your writing sit, fresher your eyes will be when you come back.
This can also help you read your writing as if it were someone else’s when you return back to it. After all, you’re more likely to notice grammar errors and inconsistencies when you read someone else’s writing. You’ll want these eyes when proofreading your own work.
Take a moment to put away what you’ve written. When you come back, you’ll be better at catching inconsistent tenses and whatnot.
Keep Writing Your Story
The next step to combating writer’s imperfection is by writing the rest of your story.
Sometimes writers can get hung up with making the beginning perfect, or working on their favorite scene.
However, writing isn’t about just the beginning or one part: it’s about the story as a whole. If you only have an intro or a scene, that’s not a story.
You need to work on the rest of your book in order to finish it. And if you don’t have a story, maybe you can write a new one using what you’ve already started.
Push onward when writing: don’t write and rewrite the same thing over and over again. Besides, you’ll get better if you continuously experiment and write other things.
Do Prewriting Activities
Another way to overcome writer’s imperfection is by doing a series of prewriting activities.
Prewriting activities are done before you write. These can be exercises such as writing prompts, making lists, brainstorming, or freewriting.
Prewriting activities can be done for 30 minutes before you work on your project. This can help you expand your mind and continually practice by experimenting with new stories.
Some teachers have used prewriting activities in their classrooms to help encourage their students think outside the box. These methods are designed to help get you out of your comfort zone and try something different.
Try incorporating a prewriting exercise into your writing session next time.
Accept your final draft
Even though this may be hard, eventually you need to accept the final draft of your writing.
After all, there’s always something that can be improved upon. However, if you get stuck in a loop of never being “good” enough, you might not ever be able to move on.
Accept your writing and the way it is. If you’ve edited it countless times, you’ll only improve by moving forward onto the next project.
This includes accepting your narrative voice as well as finding an appreciation for the words you’ve written.
What you have written is unique and special to you, so be proud of it!
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