Ooooh, that’s a nice description. Oh no no no, that’s a terrible way to put it. Oops, I wrote a passive verb. Hey, I just laid down three adverbs in a row! The right word just isn’t coming to me . . .
That pesky internal editor. Most writers say to lay down a bad first draft and edit later. There’s actually scientific reasoning behind it.
Right brain is creative stuff like writing prose and brainstorming. Left brain is editing your prose and sifting through which brainstorm ideas you should keep or chuck.
It's often very difficult to switch between the two completely. Usually when you switch from analytical to creative, you're not 100% into your creative mode--there are vestiges of analytical thinking going on.
When you use both at once, the brain can't keep up with the switching back and forth. Most of the time, your creativity is what stalls.
That's why it's often difficult to be as creative or as efficient when writers switch between editing and writing, editing and writing. The analytical side--editing--doesn't fully relinquish brain energy to the creative side for writing.
This is especially important this week during our Book In A Week at Seekerville! Your goal is to lay down those words, and you can't achieve quantity unless you go completely RIGHT BRAIN MODE.
This is why many writers recommend turning off your "internal editor" when writing the first draft. Don't correct, don't second-guess that word, don't fiddle with that phrase, don't decide that action is too bland, don't stop and do research--just make a note to yourself and move on. That editing is left-brain work, which would short-circuit your creative right-brain work if you stopped to indulge in it.
Can't remember the right phrase? Make a note to yourself: [FIGURE OUT THE PHRASE HERE] and then just keep writing.
Stuck on a research question? Write a note to yourself: [DID THEY WEAR CORSETS FOR EVERYDAY OR NOT?] and then just keep writing.
Got lots of typos or misspelled words? Just grit your teeth and keep writing, don't go back to fix them now! You'll fix them all next week!
Realize you made a mistake or that you want to change something? Just leave a note: [REMEMBER TO GO BACK AND HAVE JAKE ENTER AFTER THE SHERIFF LEAVES, NOT BEFORE] and then just keep writing!!!
One trick to try is closing your eyes. The senses of blind people sharpen to make up for loss of sight--your creativity might enhance when you remove your sense of sight. It can also remove the discouraging picture of the blank page. Block out distracting thoughts like work, housework, kids (although if you've prepared adequately for BIAW, you'll have already cleaned, cooked for a week, and either shipped the kids to Grandma's house or gotten some good earplugs for yourself). If you can, type or write with your eyes closed, forget about misspelled words or the pen writing on the desk--oops, well, I guess you kind of have to watch out for that.
Another trick is to try writing as fast as you can. This forces you to just go with your gut and stall your analytical side. Plus this is a necessity for BIAW writers with only a week to write an entire book!!!
Something magical happens when you go completely RIGHT BRAIN MODE. While at first, your words are complete and utter dreck, after a while, you start to suddenly come up with some really good stuff. You surprise yourself with the ideas that flow into your fingers and onto the page. It's as if a secret box inside you suddenly opens up and starts spilling all sorts of literary gems into your computer.
This is the nature of when your brain switches to complete right brain mode--your creativity is unleashed full force. You are no longer hampered by cliches and boring ideas--your creativity bubbles up from deep inside you to come up with wild and fantastic actions for your characters to do, witty or deeply emotional dialogue, unexpected turns in the plot.
This is also why you can write a book in a week! So work to get into that right brain mode today and start writing!
Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Her novels Single Sashimi and Deadly Intent are out now. She runs the Story Sensei critique service, is a staff worker for her church youth group, and leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every week and ponders frivolous things. Sign up for her newsletter YahooGroup for monthly giveaways!