Jessica Christine Musgrove

Author. Singer. Actress.
My King is a dragon-slayer.

Writers Relate Post #1

The Creative Writer Versus…Dun, dun, DUN! …the Editor

I think every writer, published or unpublished, can relate to the battle of the creator inside versus the editor inside. Am I right?

When I first started writing my first novel, Evergreen and the Silver Tree, I have to be honest, the monster that is The Editor Within had not awakened. After all, it was my first novel; naïve little me had no clue that after hours of creative writing, I’d spend even more hours of intense editing and re-writing and re-wording and nixing and adding and ALL THE THINGS!!! Thus, the monster was born.

Don’t get me wrong, I have grown an intense love for editing. It’s super fun and also frustrating much of the time, but worth it, to spend long, tedious hours editing, changing an incredibly rough draft into a rough draft, and then slowly forming a rough draft to something better, until finally, BOOM! You have a well-crafted story with awesome descriptive paragraphs, a ton of conflict, and character growth.


What happens when the editing process is over? What happens when it’s time to research, plot, and finally write Book 2 in your series?? When the Editor Monster is awakened and well-trained, in my experience, it has a tendency to suppress the creator, the part of myself that is simply able to let go and write the incredibly rough draft. The part who says, “It’s gonna be bad writing, and that’s okay!”

Now, the Editor Monster within says, “No, it must be great! It must be perfect!” …Ha! As if ‘perfect’ exists. In sticking with that mentality, I’d have never stopped editing Evergreen and the Silver Tree.

Aaaaand believe me, I know that the moment a literary agent chooses to represent me, more editing will need to happen, but for now, it’s time to let go.

So how does one do it? How does one kill the Editor Monster? Okay, maybe kill is a harsh word. How does one tranquilize the Editor Monster?

Clip from “The Great Outdoors”

The Honest Answer? WRITE. Write anything. Write gibberish. Journal. Interview your characters and see what comes out. Write even when your muscles refuse. When your hand tries to go back and erase a word or re-write a scene, don’t! Or try very hard not to! Instead, write in the margins a mental note for your future editing self, and then move on. If you’re anything like me, the Editor Monster will eventually wake up from its nap and try to take you down again and again. So, you must tranquilize the monster again and again.

A story doesn’t get written through editing, it gets written through writing and becomes better through the editing that comes later.

This is the battle I am learning to fight now that I am beginning to write Book 2! And listen, I can’t tell you what a relief it was to FINALLY write….just write again. Last night, I wrote the incredibly rough draft of Chapter 1. Is it complete? NO. But am I moving on to Chapter 2? YES!!! Yes, I am moving on, in all of my pantsing glory (*Pantsing means that I am less of a plotter and more of a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ writer, for those who don’t know).

And it feels SO good!

For those of you who can relate, keep fighting, keep tranquilizing, and keep being the awesome writer that you are!

~To God be the glory!~





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