There’s A Time to Write & A Time to Edit — Don’t Mix the Two

Writer’s Block Is Probably Editor’s Block

I have talked to a number of people about what they are calling writer’s block, but I believe that many people confuse writing with editing. In fact, I believe that what many people call writer’s block is actually editor’s block. One of my best pieces of advice for writing is to remember this: There is a Time to Write and a Time to Edit – Don’t Try to Mix the Two. Doing so may curtail your process, altogether.

Especially for the creative writer and the blogger, I advocate free writing, as the best way to begin writing. When I am blogging, I may have some idea about what I will ultimately say, but in general, I simply begin to write, and as I write, the words come to me. I don’t pause to worry about how to spell this or that, and I don’t worry about commas. During the very earliest part of writing something, I don’t spend much time with grammar either.  This will probably sound odd to many, but throughout my writing process, I often close my eyes, and I simply type.

Writing Visually

When I am trying to describe something, closing my eyes works especially well. Perhaps because I am also a painter, I see what I want to write–long before I write it. In writing, I simply describe what my mind sees.

Hushing the Self-Editor

Separating my writing process from my editing process hushes my self-editor.  During the first stages of writing, I simply write, and I save the editing for later.

Just keep going like crazy and look back when it’s over. Otherwise you just get confused. – Cliff Burton-

Don’t get me wrong. There IS a time for editing. In my opinion, editing is not a pleasant experience and that is why we should never mix our editing with our writing.

“While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions….” ― Tiffany Madison

When I write, I allow my mind and my spirit to flow freely. I allow myself to reach within my mind as far as ( can reach, and I explore. If I begin editing too soon in my process, I prevent myself from soaring, and I slam my creative brakes too soon. This starves my mind to death.


After I have finished soaring, it is time to put on my gloves and to begin editing. For me, editing is much more difficult than writing. In fact, I KNOW that I have Editor’s Block, and I’ll do just about anything to keep from editing my work. But editing is necessary.

“Put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.” – Colette

Try this approach in your own writing: While you are writing, you should allow your words to dance freely and when you edit, scrutinize yourself, but don’t try to mix your writing and your editing.