Monday, April 25, 2011


I’ve read that you shouldn’t proofread while writing your Work In Progress. The advice given is that one should write continuously, flesh out the story and only when it’s finished, it can be proofread.

It’s explained that when writers proofread as they go along that they aren’t really writing. I try to keep this in mind but I have difficulty from time to time. And before I realize it, I find myself going back and fixing grammar or rephrasing a sentence here and there.

Overall, I feel that this is productive because if I don’t like the way it reads it throws me off. Then I’m sulking for a day or two worrying about the drivel I’ve just written and how could I even think that I could be a writer (insert melancholic violin music here).

Then the left side of my brain steps in and takes charge, fixes one or two things on my WIP to appease my right brain and then orders me to write again. And then I’m on to happy writing once more.

I’ve had a good couple of days of writing. I didn’t spend the entire day but I was able to sneak an hour here and there. It felt pretty good. I feel motivated and the juices are flowing.

So what if I misspelled a few words in Chapter 3? It can wait until the WIP is finished. I can control my need to do a spell check, right? Maybe I’ll just take a peek at it. After all, the spell check is just a quick click of the mouse. And then I’ll skim quickly over chapter 4 and …


  1. Who on earth advises writers not to go back and look at what they've already written?! What utter tosh.

    I find that going over and editing what I've already written in a chapter, say, is an excellent way of getting back into the zone, and also making sure what I'm doing is actually working. What if you go back at the very end, and all you have are words splurged out on the page/screen that don't hang together and are full of mistakes? It sounds like your instincts are exactly as they should be, Carmen!

  2. I've heard two things many times about this, some say never edit while writing, others edit a chapter to perfection before moving on to the next chapter. Like you, if I feel unhappy with a certain portion I get thrown off if left unedited. So I shoot for a happy medium between the two ideas; I edit only the previous days work, lightly, until I feel its 'good enough' to start the days writing. I think its good to try out other methods, but at the end of the day you have to do what works for you.

  3. Hi Deborah & Darian,

    I feel exactly the same way. I don’t want to go back at the end and discover that it’s all wrong!

    What do these so called 'experts' know anyway? There are many writers who break all the rules and they've been successful. We can do it too!

  4. Different strokes for different folks :) I like to check on what I've written to make sure that I'm headed in the right direction.

  5. Hi Sam,

    I do the same and sometimes discover that I veered away from the direction I was going.