I think there are two sides to you as a writer.

There’s the Writer and the Editor.

The writer in you is great at seizing cool ideas and writing up first drafts and random scenes.

The editor in you is the intellectual who coolly regards what the writer created, and brings order to the chaos.

It’s the editor in you that takes all that material and sets it in an order that makes it into a coherent narrative.

The balancing act of being a writer is to know when and how to let the other take the lead.

It’s a constant dance between instinct and thought, chaos and order.

You’re constantly switching between the two, sometimes just for a moment, sometimes for weeks on end.

When you’re stoking the creative fire within you, it’s the Writer-you that you need to call on. Let her come forward and bring you the magic of dreams and imagination.

Don’t distract her or hold her back when she’s doing her thing.

When you’re outlining, editing and pulling together your narrative, let the Editor-you come forth. Allow her to take the chaos of creation and bring it to order like she’s reorganising the kitchen pantry.

When you started writing your manuscript with gusto only to fall short around 40% in, that’s when you need the editor to come in and check your location on the map.

When you feel like you can’t see the woods for all those blasted trees, bring in your editor to get you back on the right path.

And remember that you can’t have your nose in the map AND walk the path at the same time.

You’ll have to stop to check the map before moving on again.

Writing is a constant balancing act of when to allow which part dominance.

If you’re feeling stuck, consider whether you’ve got the right one at the fore.

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