April 17, 2019•506 words
Image by wwwslonpics from Pixabay
Have you ever heard of the 'Hemingway Method' of writing? It's founded on Earnest Hemingway's mantra of "Write drunk, edit sober". And while I do like the idea of writing drunk, I don't.
What that really means is that if you embrace the Hemingway Method, you just write. You write down your thoughts, your phrases, your ideas, just let it all flow. The key here is that you're supposed to write down everything, no censoring, no correcting, just a stream of consciousness experience between you and your medium.
THEN, when that part's done, you go back and start the editing process. You start trimming unnecessary words, making grammar and punctuation corrections, refine and polish your prose. To which, at the end, you have your finished work.
I liken it much to sculpting. You take a lump or a block of clay, plaster, what have you, and then you trim away everything that isn't your subject. When you've trimmed, shaped, and corrected everything, you now have a sculpture that started with just a chunk of rock.
And that's exactly what I don't do when it comes to writing. I have this terrible habit of editing while I write. Each word correctly spelled, each sentence polished at the time of writing, not after. If I'm typing so fast that I misspell a word even four or five words back, I'll backspace over all the words in front of the one misspelled one. Then, I'll correct it, and rewrite the rest of the sentence.
You'd think that would preclude me from making mistakes with my drafts, or even finished copy. Nope. More times than I care to admit, I'll publish a post, and then read it on my Listed Page after I've published it, and then see all the mistakes I made and didn't catch during my "editing" process.
It's usually in the form of a missing word that I thought I typed, and later thought I saw, which was just my brain filling in the gap for me. Or, adding an 's' or a 'd' to a word that didn't need it.
And, sometimes, my brain will just go off and do it's own thing. There have been times when I find myself writing a word that wasn't even in my head at the time I wrote it. It's like my fingers ran away from my brain and decided to do what they wanted to do.
So, yes, my writing technique sucks. It goes against the grain, and if I were to be honest, it's kind of a time waster. Therefore, maybe I owe it to myself to try it a different way, the Heming-way, and see if that doesn't actually save me some time.
What about you? What's your process, your technique for writing? Would love to hear from you to see if it's different, similar, or nowhere near the same.
Until then, I'll waste my time writing instead of wasting it doing other things, like the dishes.