Have You Killed Your Editor?

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When you pick up a pen, are you writing or editing?

v3-amused-_img-crayon-gunIf you are editing, you will find yourself mostly stuck, questioning your sentence structure, your grammer … whether or not you used an adjective to describe a verb or adverb to describe a noun or pronoun to conjuctify a conjunction (whatever that means) … you would experience a sort of self imposed writers block. Not because you have nothing to write….but because you are always criticizing your every word, like that beautiful celebrity that is never satisfied with their nose, you keep tweaking and tweaking until you ultimately convince yourself that you are not a worthy writer and comit literary suicide.

That’s why many great editors are not writers. Because writing requires a free flow, a sort of magical creativity that causes words to flow effortlessly from a pen. Not because the writer is specially talented or uniquely gifted, but ‘effortlessly’ because the writer is not bugged down with editorial cacaphony. Hence the writer tricks themselves into believing they are great but all they have done…is to simply kill their editor.

Have you killed your editor today?

twitterWritten and Drawn By Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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Words by Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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30 comments on “Have You Killed Your Editor?

  1. Wow! I am so guilty of this. When I write an article to be posted on my blog, I spend almost 48hrs making corrections, adjustment, tweaking a full paragraph, cancelling a 1000 word story because I feel a sentence or two is not just write. I am not exaggerating when I say the amount of time I spend editing and proof reading is more than the amount of time it takes me to write. Because I am very finicky about everything being in proper place, it affects my writing too and most writers experience this. There are so many topics I have started but I can’t complete yet because a sentence in them seems out of place and until I get that perfect sentence, they will have to wait. You will be amazed at the number of unfinished articles I have which Hubby convinces me is perfect but to me, naaaah. There is just that element that is still missing………that element. I must find it….
    Tejflow latest post is How to Enjoy Living in NigeriaMy Profile

    • Ofili
      Ofili on said:

      wow. You really need to pull the publish trigger. I am editing a pacesetters best selling book right now and I have seen like 12 grammar/sentence structure errors. But guess what!! Its still a best seller. Get your stuff done my dear. Good luck.

      • Looool. Thanks. It’s more of guilt though. As I tend to come down hard on people that write and let so many mistakes and allow so many grammatical errors pass by. So I always don’t want to be the one now making those mistakes. And not with me bagging a first degree in English Language. Don’t want anyone questioning my qualifications and who knows if all my lecturers & professors are now online….lool
        Tejflow latest post is How to Enjoy Living in NigeriaMy Profile

  2. Loolz, story of my life! Writing and editing a first draft at the same time is my biggest problem with writing. Such a time waster…reaching for that gun!

  3. I am just as guilty too. Countless number of times I’ve been caught up in the mix, For instance, before my SSCE, those moment when you study so long to the point of “diminishing return”,lol. I tried writing some stuff down just to distract myself alittle. I have had the chance of starting several very interesting article, poem (about the Tsunami then), short stories, etc. Which I ended up not completing bcos my “writer mind” and “editor mind” could not agree. But am not sure I’ve killed my editor entirely yet. Because lately, we are starting to agree “somehow”. Though I still leave some writings for later when that controversy sets in again. Lol
    Jennifer Ogoo Okolo latest post is 10 Tips To Boost Your Curvy ConfidenceMy Profile

    • Ofili
      Ofili on said:

      Hi Jennifer, glad that your writer self is wining the battle over your editor self. Checked out your blog. Not bad, but your background is very very busy so it is tough to read what you wrote. Try and use a white background with black font.

  4. omg thank you soooo much for this post dude!! So I’m that creep that usually reads everyone’s comments and nod rapidly in agreement, but never comment myself. However, you’ve just addressed a main issue that I had to overcome. I even wrote a FB status about this, and thought I was the only one who experienced this problem. But thank you for this 🙂

    p.s- how can I share your posts on my blog? I use wordpress.

  5. Bibii on said:

    My editor self sure knows how to bully my writer self, I didn’t even know this until now. Thanks. I need to ginger my writer self to fight back.

  6. Rosemary Aqua on said:

    Unfortunately, my editor self wins the battle most of the time. I spend more time being critical about my writing style and grammar that I end up not writing at all. Each time I try to freewrite, I keep going back to change sentences… I even did it while typing this comment. Imagine! I should seriously murder my pesky editor self!

  7. Bloodie Mary on said:

    I have not quite overcome my straight-faced, gun weilding editor. My fear sprang from convincing myself I lacked the right words to pass my message accross. I recently started a journal about my pregnancy and I convinced mysef no one else would read. I am making tremendous progress; I even laugh at my shallow attempts at comedy. I will not relent. To blow big grammer is not by force.

  8. Ofili oozes wisdom from every pore, lol! I keep seeing more things from your posts, I’m definitely firing my editor, in my writing, at work and in my love life.

  9. Ofili Ofili Ofili, How many times did I call you…lol!
    Thank you so much for this article.
    You don’t want to know how many times this “editor mind” of mine has nearly killed my writing drive. I sometimes feel the write ups on my blog are not good enough. Until one day, I told myself, grammatical errors or not, good sentences and paragraph constructions or not, I will keep posting.
    And that has what helped me.
    We just keep getting better by the day by constant practice.
    Ofili, please can you do a critique on my blog for me.

    Thank you

  10. Ayodeji on said:

    Yeah, ℓ̊ really subscribe †☺ this kill your editor thing as ℓ̊ am sometimes conscious of how ℓ̊ want †☺ align my essay or what have you and mostly ℓ̊ just end up killing a brilliant idea by over-sabi but on days ℓ̊ give in †☺ my subconscious self †☺ guide me, the ink just keep painting the pages of my jotter. Just ƪĩк̣̣̥ε the piece ℓ̊ wrote yesterday – Option A: Crying. ℓ̊ think its a wonderful piece.

  11. This is exactly why I stick to my profession as an editor and not try to be a great writer…even though that’s pushing my date for being an author further into the future. Lolz. You inspire me Okey

  12. UnilagOlodo on said:

    If you’d written this post 3 years ago I probably wouldn’t have a blog section with an average if one post a year *sighs*

    Editor, I will find you, and I will kill you!… Not really, I’ll just give you my poorly punctuated and unconjuctified conjunctions to edit, then I’ll kill you. #OkBye

  13. You’ve put my feelings in words, now I understand better why it is was so hard to write a book before I wrote for a month without corrections. the challenge was to write 50,000 words in a month, no editing. in fact. if you had repeated words like “the boy ran ran ran along the road” it was a bonus! when the month ended, you were allowed to edit. Over a thousand books were written that month.

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