While on the forums, someone asked about turning off their inner editor. It seems like a simple enough thing. You just keep going onwards and don’t look back until you’re done. I equated it to zombies, which means now I need to elaborate.
When writing the first draft of anything, I’d suggest never looking back. It’s hard for some people to do, I know. You want it to be perfect the first time, but first drafts are rarely ever masterpieces and they will almost always need heavy editing. You could spend hours making it perfect the first time, or you could have fun with it the first time.
I like to write now and edit later, as I now realize that my first drafts will usually suck. Let it come out as it comes out and don’t worry too much about editing. If you can help it, don’t edit at all, leave it raw and then you can go back afterwards and fix everything if the story is worth it.
Think of your story like a city infested with zombies out for your brains. The more you write, the closer you get to the chopper to get out of there. Unfortunately, these are running zombies and they’re always right behind you. Don’t look back, just keep writing/running until you get to the end/chopper. You can make it! YOU CAN DO IT!
Then you’re at the chopper. Now you can look back at your story infested by zombies. There’s grammar and spelling mistakes, plot holes and character inconsistencies. That’s fine. It’s what the first draft is for. You are safe now, it’s done. Take a breath, get back to society and remember what it’s like to be around normal people.
Then, when you’re very ready, go back to the zombies. And bring ammunition. Take your bombs/red pen and tear the whole thing apart. Keep going until it’s all good and inhabitable again.
Although by this metaphor, it follows that your mistakes create zombies. I guess the metaphor still works.
Run like hell, leaving zombies in your wake and make it to the chopper at the end. Look back and risk getting eaten by the zombies with no hope of ever reaching the chopper. Sure, you can turn back and kill a couple that are breathing on your neck, but don’t fight the whole army. Once you reach the chopper, recuperate some and come back with the big guns and bombs that will kill them all.
Why yes, I am still looking for my notebook.