Author Jodi Picoult once said, “You can’t edit a blank page.”

But believe me, I try.

Perhaps this is why I became an editor: because it’s hard for me to write something knowing that it isn’t very good.

Too often, I write a sentence, revise the sentence, then write a new sentence before that, then cut out the first two sentences I’d written and start over. Because finding flaws is my job.

Perhaps this is also why I haven’t had a new post for this editing blog in weeks . . .

Today’s post is a mess. But that’s kind of the point. As an author, you will have to write messes. Maybe it’s a first draft of a novel. Maybe it’s a first draft of a newsletter. Maybe it’s a blog post that just isn’t the best thing you’ve ever written but the deadline is today so it’s good enough.

Truth is, if you never write anything imperfect, you’ll never write anything at all.

Today, I’m taking my own advice. I’m not going back and deleting rambly sentences. I’m not re-reading and re-reading my paragraphs. I’m going to write this mess, then store it away in a cold, dark file folder until enough time has passed that it’s time to give it a second look.

Because this should be edited. But that’s not what I’m doing now. Right now, I’m creating.

Sometimes, it’s okay to leave a _________ in your writing. You can fill it in later. Maybe it’s a name. Maybe it’s a scene or even a chapter. Just keep writing. Create.

You won’t use everything you write, but those words are still practice. They grow your understanding of your subject, your characters, your style.

So keep writing.

Edit later.

Maybe, you’ll find yourself with a full page like this one.

Once upon a time, Tim Pietz thought editors were gray and joyless people who quenched their thirst with authors’ tears. Now, Tim is the managing editor of InkSword Editing and to his knowledge, he mostly drinks tap water. Tim graduated summa cum laude from Taylor University with a B.S. in Professional Writing and a B.A. in Strategic Communication, and since then, he’s had the privilege of editing for various authors and publishers, including Tyndale House. A teacher and encourager at heart, Tim enjoys collaborating with authors at every stage in their publishing journey. 

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