Finishing a work is a dual paradox: there is the creative release of writing, followed by the rigid structure of editing.
Hence, my writing motto:
Write like a serial killer, edit like a nun.
Ok, that’s cool but what does it mean?
Maybe you’ve heard of the more familiar maxim: write fast, edit slow. In this hyper accelerated world, that’s becoming write fast, edit faster.
Have you seen how fast some authors churn out new books?!
Speed is one thing, but approach is another. Speed is one aspect of an approach but it’s only one. Speed alone doesn’t encapsulate the whole experience of weaving words onto the page.
So, let’s break down the motto:
WRITE LIKE A SERIAL KILLER
No, this doesn’t mean to write with the bloody remains of your victims. And, frankly, the fact that you went there is a little disturbing.
Writing like a serial killer means:
- Write with wild abandon
- Write without rules
- Write selfish
- Write without an ego
- Write with passion
EDIT LIKE A NUN
You don’t have to wear a habit, but hey, I’m not judging.
Here I mean to:
- Edit with structure
- Edit for perfection
- Edit religiously
The real key to this motto is in the symbolism. Just like that night you were abducted by aliens in your sleep, the images in your head will guide you.
What is your go-to writing motto? Share it in the comments.