One of the first things you’ll learn during a NaNoWriMo challenge is do not waste time editing.
We’re told to turn off our inner editor. Bound, gag and toss them into a closet. Send them on vacation. Put your inner edit on IGNORE.
Editing slows you down. While you should be moving on to the next scene or chapter, you stare at what you’ve written and it just isn’t quite… right.
So, you futz around trying to rebuild the world, or block the scene, or build the suspense and an hour later, the page still sucks, you have a total word count of 537, and you just want a drink or your bed…or both!
Save your sanity and sobriety and don’t edit.
True, it’s easier said than done. But, when you think of the time wasted on editing text that will be re-edited several times in the coming weeks and months after NaNoWriMo, self-editing while you write becomes less of a problem.
In most writing programs and apps, the screen can be modified so only a few lines of text are visible at a time. If self-editing is a big problem for you, it would benefit you to investigate how the process works in your particular writing program.
I’m trying something different this year.
A few months ago, I saw several authors post about the Alphasmart, a writing tool used in schools and computer labs in days gone by. They’re no longer in production, but after a bit of research, I found there are still tons of them around, new and refurbished, and the company still supplies and support. #WIN
I ordered one from Amazon and OMG! The sky is blue, birds are singing, and I’m sure I saw a Unicorn walk past my window!
This is not a high tech piece of equipment. It’s strictly for word processing. There is NO way to connect it to the Internet. It holds up to one hundred pages of text. It’s lightweight and has a battery life unrivaled by any device–more than seven hundred hours from three AAA-batteries. (I’ve been using mine daily for over two months and the usage line on the battery meter is so small, I can’t measure it.)
And word count? My word count is rockin’! Only four lines of text are visible (with the font setting I use) so I can’t see my WIP and languish over words already written when I should be writing new words!
For Day 2 of NaNoWriMo, I wrote 1914 new words. I can live with that!
Word count total – 3815/50000.