Well, what if you have a terrible inner editor? One that just really isn't working out for you? I've got a theory about what you can do.
Inner editors can be fired. And you can hire one that better suits you.
It's true! I started out with Miss Stakeless. She was around for my first book. She walked around in my head while I wrote, ruler in hand, ready to rap my knuckles.
She demanded I used correct punctuation.
She demanded I used correct spelling.
She demanded I used correct grammar.
She demanded I didn't use words that end in "ing" or "ly."
She demanded I varied my sentence structure.
She demanded I didn't use the same words too close to one another.
She said if I took it slow and got it right the first time, I'd be happier later. "Slow but steady wins the race," she said WAY too often.
I was afraid of her, so I listened and I did what she said. My knuckles are pansies.
The whole time, though, I had my eyes on this guy:
His name is Doodle, but he prefers to be called Dood. (Heavy on the "oo.") Sure, he's a punk. And sure, he needs to pull up his shorts a bit. And after a while, that surfer lingo might get a little old.
But he's a genius.
And I've heard he'd be quite content to surf while I type, and only get picky about the editing when I was good and ready to edit. Plus, cartoon Inner Editors just seem so much more... fun. So, I called Dood on his cell phone and asked if he wanted the job.
He was in Australia, shredding some serious waves. He said he was unwilling to leave such perfect crests, but more importantly, I wasn't ready for him as an inner editor yet. (Whatever, Dood.)
For someone who seems so one track minded, he can be surprisingly astute. And he did recommend someone else to do the job. I am happy to report that I hired her.
She was an Editing Magician, or E.M., but she liked it when I called her "Auntie Em."
We got along great! I gave her free roam of the brain kitchens, and she baked cookies while I wrote. My brain likes working to the smell of cookies. While I wrote a first draft, she only stopped by to tell me that I used a passive voice, or that I hadn't varied my sentence structure enough every 9 to 11 minutes, instead of constantly like Miss Stakeless did.
I loved her. I loved her cookies. I loved her smiling face. I hope she liked living in my brain. I gave her a room with lots of windows where there was always sunshiny days. There were big, comfy chairs and lots of yarn for knitting. I even placed her in the part of my brain furthest from my imagination, so she could go for an evening stroll and not worry about bad guys or monsters suddenly appearing on the paths through my brain.
Then one day, I got a call. Dood said that I was finally ready to have him as my inner editor! I didn't exactly fire Auntie Em as convince her that someone else needed her services even more than I did. (But I also managed to convince her that I still need the cookies the most, and that my brain kitchens were always open to her. Every once in a while she still stops by to bake a batch.)
So there you go. Proof that you can fire your inner editor and get a new one if the one you've got isn't quite working out for you.