The Best/Worst Writing Advice We’ve Ever Received

Turn Off Your Internal Editor

The first year that I participated in National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I spent a lot of time exploring the website and reading everything that I could find in preparation for November 1st.  I could have stopped with the site’s homepage where I discovered what I consider to be the most important advice that I’ve ever received regarding the creative writing process:

“Don’t stop to edit, just keep writing until you reach the end.”

While I am a very fast typist, I cannot say that I am an accurate one and after tapping out 2,000 words or so, found myself distracted by the fine little red and green jagged lines that appeared underneath so many of the words in my sentences.  Unable to concentrate with so much color on the page, I went back to make corrections, which turned into edits, which then turned into major revisions.  After performing a clean-up, the pages appeared free of color, however, I had lost my train of thought as well as my creative momentum.

Fortunately, I learned my lesson and during my second foray into NaNo, I followed their advice to the letter and sailed through without changing a thing until I had written the very last line.  No breadcrumbs were needed to find my way out of the forest.  Put your blinders on and keep writing.

-Lisa Emig


  • TS Tate

    Tee received a Master of Arts in English in 2008 from Southeastern Louisiana University. She has studied under Edgar nominee Tim Gautreaux, Booksense Pick novelist Bev Marshall and Clarion West graduate and World Fantasy nominee, Cat Rambo. She has more than ten years of documentation and editing experience and is currently the Editor-in-Chief at   She has spent the past nine years in the corporate environment as a Technical Editor and has previously edited for Christine Rose, Phoebe North, Heather McCorkle, Laura Pauling, Anne Riley, Christine Fonseca and UF writer Carolyn Crane. With Heather McCorkle, Tee co-founded the #WritersRoad chat on Twitter.  In addition, she is working on several creative projects, including her second novel and various short stories. Her flash fiction, "Street Noises," was included in the Pill Hill Press anthology "Daily Frights 2012: 366 Days of Dark Flash Fiction (Leap Year Edition)" and her short "Til Hunt Be Done," was included in the Winter Wonders anthology from Compass Press.  A diehard New Orleans Saints fan, Tee lives with her family in Southeast Louisiana.

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