Write Now…Edit Later


Please enjoy the following guest post from author Marie Catalfamo.

Marie is a fiction writer with interests in mysteries and exploring the myths and lore of her Italian heritage.  A native of the North East, Marie is a contributing author of First Thursdays, a collection of short stories by member of the writer’s group Somerset Ink.


Write Now…Edit Later

I began talking at nine months (or so I’ve been told) and haven’t stopped since. When I began writing my thoughts came out unedited and with no target in mind. I took some writing classes and began to inhale the various “rules” – find your voice, who’s your target audience, what’s the theme, plot, premise, etc. I began experimenting with various methods: make a pyramid (intro, conflict, resolution), work out an outline, give characters a background, research time period, speech, etc.

The one echo that kept running through my mind from these classes was write, write, write! Did I listen? Of course not; I began analyzing every paragraph, sentence, word. I asked everyone in my writer’s group what worked for them. I became a tree killer with endless repeat first starts. Finally I hit the plateau that gave me an excuse – writer’s block. Anytime someone asked me what I was working on I could proudly answer, “right now I have writer’s block”.

 I finally realized that for someone who must communicate in person (no Facebook, Tweets; emails satisfy my addiction for physical contact) I needed to write as I speak – just let it out. In real life, as a result, I sometimes have to go back and apologize for my words or actions. The beauty of writing is I can let my words simmer and then go back and edit.

Well, the above may not give anyone much insight into writing, but I feel a heck of a lot better.

I hope you enjoyed Marie’s contribution and find it fosters the flow of some fresh creativity.  Please feel free to comment on what Marie had to share and ask her any questions you may have.

Look for future guest posts from Marie and more of my favorite writers here at Writer’s Block.


7 responses »

  1. Thank you Marie for sharing your thoughts and writing process with us. I agree that it is very important not to stifle your creativity by over thinking. Just write and worry about editing later. Editing is an integral part of writing but there is a time and place for it.

  2. My writer’s block comes in the form of I-have-something-better-to-do. Usually my free time is filled with reading novels, other people’s, and reading about writing. The thing that kicks me into action is a deadline. It’s what I do in my work life, work to deadline. Only 30 minutes to write to a prompt. No problem. The line has been drawn and I take off. My hand moves across the page, words flow, as if from a source beyond myself. I edit and rewrite as I transcribe the words from notebook to laptop. A quick reread and a click of the send or print button. Done. The deadline, the flow, the drama, like a fudgy, dark, chocolate brownie right out of the oven carefully eaten so I don\’t burn my tongue. DElish.

  3. Marie, I learned to just write and let it flow before there was any such thing as a word processer or computer. I would just write whatever ideas came into my mind as they presented themselves and worry about grammar and continuity later on. At times I would be working on one idea and another idea would pop into my mind and I would skip to it to develop it. Eventually I would go back to the former idea and complete the development of it. This method is much more fruitful for me than sticking to one idea and making sure I crossed my T’s and dotted my I’s.

    Life is so much easier now with computers that allow easy editing and cutting and pasting. There is no need to stifle creativity by trying to write a perfect page at the expense of developing ideas.

    • I have gotten back to what you subscribe. I’ve added another dimension in that what I run into a stumbling block I act it out. I found that by “blocking out a scene,” I can feel better what I am trying to communicate rather than agonizing over the right word. Thanks for your helpful suggestion. Do you belong to a writing group? I find mine, Somerset Ink, to give me the discipline and encouragement we all need at times.

  4. NaNoWriMo taught me that I really CAN write 1,000 or more words a day, if I just keep going. Go, go, go was the big lesson of that experience. While I haven’t written that quantity again, I did learn that one sitting can easily net you close to 2,000 words if you just let it flow without editing or stopping.

    • I agree 100% Kim. I finally finished and published my story One Act: Papa’s Trees because of a NaNoWriMo challenge. When my novel Lost and Found: The Souls of Rosewood got off to a very slow start, I made a commitment to myself to write just one sentence every day…Bam…it was all I needed to open the gates. One sentence leads to another like putting one foot in front of the other. I use this same plan when I get blocked…just write one sentence. It doesn’t even have to be a good sentence but it will always kick start the process.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing.

  5. I find that my writing creativity is blocked when I am cooped up in the house. There’s too many distractions and always something to be done. Like a lot of us working full time, there just isn’t enough time to do everything. However, being out in nature, like going for a walk in the park, gets my imagination flowing. That’s how I got the idea for creating my nature- fairy- children characters and wrote the story, The Ruby Ring. Looking up at the stars one night in the black velvet sky, I wrote my Fairy of the Night poem which was published in Fairie Magazine. Each month, one member from my writer’s group, Somerset Ink, submits a piece to be critiqued, which definitely helps to keep me motivated, especially in the wintertime when it seems my writng motivation goes by the wayside.

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