I heart the Inner Editor

I made a comment on Kiersten’s blog which got me thinking about the infamous Inner Editor. Why are we writer’s so down on her(him)? We always hear things like:

“Turn off the Inner Editor.” “Kill the Inner Editor.”

What gives? Personally, I love the Inner Editor. Think of all she does for us! In this current story I am working on, she has played a HUGE part. I was saying in my comment to Kiersten that no less than five times I have gotten totally stuck in a scene. I just won’t be able to go on. The scene will bother me and bother me. I know it’s her. The Inner Editor.

So, I’ll not write for a while, think about the scene, consult Inner Editor as to what I should do. And then, five times now, I have ended up CUTTING the ENTIRE scene.

Terrible? Wasted time? Halting my forward momentum?

No. Because EVERY single one of those times I have rewritten the scene, which is SO much better. So much better! And that in of itself is great, but these new scenes will produce more scenes and new layers, and in the end the entire rest of the story will be different because I made that one change. If I had gone on and ignored that nagging Inner Editor, and kept the scene thinking I would fix it later, the rest of the story would have flowed from the tone of that scene and, I am convinced, the story would not be as strong.

So I LOVE the Inner Editor! I think she rocks! And, even if she makes the process of writing my novel much longer, I KNOW that my story will be better at the end because I listened to her. So call me a heretic, but I am never going to turn her off again.



  1. Terri Tiffany on January 19, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    My inner editor is alive and well here in FLa!

  2. Lady Glamis on January 20, 2009 at 12:00 am

    I LOVE my inner editor, too. I hug her all the time. I graduated with a minor in technical writing. I love editing. So we have a great relationship.

    Do you think Inner Editor and Muse are sisters? Cousins? Somehow related? Do they work for or against each other? Just a thought . . .

  3. candicekennington on January 20, 2009 at 1:00 am

    I agree 100% I’m rewriting the ending to my book for the 3rd time. And though it’s frustrating to go through the rewrite process, I am so much happier with my new ending!

    Just to comment on your previous blog… My best dream/ideas are right before I fall asleep. So often I’ll be just about to fall asleep and have an idea of pure unadulterated genious 🙂 pop into my head, and I know from experience that I have to get up at that moment and write it, or it will be gone the next day.

  4. Natalie on January 20, 2009 at 1:25 am

    Sorry, you’re weird. No, kidding! I don’t hate her, but I do believe that she has her place. It IS important that she points those things out. She is moving you forward.

    It’s when you’re not going forward that she becomes a problem.

  5. Renee Collins on January 20, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Terri-Yes! Good to hear she is being taken care of.

    Glam-Hugs for Inner Editor! That’s awesome. 🙂

    I am going to say that the Inner Editor and the Muse are definitely sisters. But, they are a bit competitive. When they work together, writing is it’s best. But I think a writer can get carried away with either one. It all comes back to balance, doesn’t it?

    Candice-Good to see you back. I checked your blog again today, and was like, “Where is she?”

    Also, your dream story makes me laugh. I do the same thing. Once, I was brushing my teeth and had a genius idea but no pen anywhere near. So I grabbed a bar of soap and wrote down a few sentences on the bathroom mirror. 🙂

    Natalie-I really am weird. 😛

    Also, I agree that I.E. can get a little carried away. But so can Muse. As I said in my response to Glam, they have to work together.

  6. giddymomof6 on January 20, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I LOVE HER TOO! She helps me all the time! And I love what happens… “It’s ok, hmm.. you can do it that way, if you want to… but if no-ot I know a better way. So you wanna listen to me? Do ya? Do ya? I think you’re gonna like it!” LOL! I always listen. I always like! Thanks for this post–it’s nice to know I’m not the only one!

  7. Daisy on January 20, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    My inner editor keeps yelling at me to ignore the million and one other things I keep finding to do and get my butt on the seat! As a fellow writing mum, I’m glad to have stumbled upon your blog

  8. Joanne on January 20, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Editing is such a crucial part of writing – it seems to turn off that inner editor is to stop writing, in a way! Edit on …

  9. Kasie West on January 20, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    This happens to me all the time. I used to totally cling to those chapters/scenes that I knew needed to go. I was like, NOOOOOO there’s this one really cute line that so and so says. I wanted to save an entire chapter because my MC said something clever. I’ve since learned to listen and chop away. It’s always better when I do.

  10. Renee Collins on January 20, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Jenni-Yeah, sometimes Inner Editor needs to knock us over the head before we listen. 🙂 But, she’s always right, so it’s hard to be mad!

    Daisy-I hear you there! I think Inner Editor gets bored, so she’s always yelling at us to give her something to edit. 🙂

    Thanks for visiting the blog! I also always like to find other writer moms. 🙂 Come back anytime!

    Joanne-True! This is what I’ve felt for a long time. Editing is writing. Writing is editing! You can’t have one without the other.

    Kasie-lol! I am the same! It’s just so hard to let go of those sparkling little lines. Sometimes I’ll try and fit them in elsewhere. It doesn’t always work. When all else fails, I keep them in a file and read them on occasion and smile and think, “What a genius line.” 🙂

  11. JaneyV on January 21, 2009 at 12:48 am

    I have no problem with my inner editor because she definitely has a better idea of what gives than I do and I certainly do trust her. However I do wish she would come online when I decide to edit – not when I should be writing. On the other hand she has often put the brakes on and stopped me from going down a path that would have been extremely wasteful of my time. So for that I heart her very much.

  12. sraasch on January 21, 2009 at 4:05 am

    Preach it, sista!

    How did I not have you on my blog roll? My apologies.

  13. Renee Collins on January 21, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Janey-Yeah, Inner Editor should consider branching out. Maybe she could help me get around to my laundry sooner. 🙂

    Sara-Cool. I’ve added you to mine.

  14. Jill Wheeler on January 21, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Check your email! Aaaaagh, I’m freaking out!

  15. Renee Collins on January 22, 2009 at 3:39 am

    Checked it. It’s brilliant. Do it!!