The death of my inner editor

Tonight, I realized that somewhere along the way, my inner editor — that guy that tells me “You know, you really don’t need this.” — is formally dead. I took some writing to group to be critiqued, and they burned me at the stake. A year ago, I would have pre-read my chapter and taken drastic measures, slicing and dicing it into shreds long before the group could have the chance to do so.

I don’t know when or how he died. Maybe he died from boredom. Maybe from lack of use, he didn’t die but just walked away. It has been so long since I’ve needed him, maybe he got tired of waiting on me to get back on the writing train.

Tonight I took my latest work, after reading it earlier to myself. It was great, with action, dialogue and twists… or so I thought. But the more they tore holes in it, the more I realized that my inner editor had failed me. As they did their best by doing their worst, I could see how this portion of the story (we only critique eight-to-ten pages at a time) was just bogging the entire flow into the cement. It negated the very things that I thought it provided.

In the end, I have trashed the entire chapter. Yep. All of the work, creativity and energy straight to the trash bin. But in the end, it will be worth it. Some of the most painful, deep edits result in the best work.

I’m so incredibly thankful for Steve, Carol, Bob and all of the Crossroads Writers. You guys are helping me become a better writer — as painful as it may be some days. Thank you all, very much. Don’t let up, as much as I may moan and complain. You are the best.

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