As writers, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We must craft stop-and-take-notice copy, nail SEO, reach a million inboxes and have products filling online shopping baskets, just to name a few must-dos, every time we sit down to write.

It stresses me out just thinking about it. And sometimes thinking about it is all I end up doing because I psych myself out even before I turn on my laptop. I’m so worried about the finished piece that I skip over the writing part. When I sit down to write nothing comes out, well besides jargon and regurgitated marketing taglines.

I’m trying too hard.

I blame my editing side of the brain. The part of me that wants to squish my ideas into the standard feature writing format. To chop my sentences in half for the mobile phone readers out there, and scroll through thesaurus options until I find that perfect word. I’m so desperate to do it there and then but in reality all the editing and moulding can come later.

The main thing is that you get your ideas out there, set them down in writing. An editor gave me this advice yesterday. So simple but one point we writers forget, quickly. I’d gone to him because I’d been commissioned on spec to write a piece but after six months I still hadn’t finished it.

I’d given up to be honest. After six rewrites it was still lifeless. It had a few good stats sprinkled around, I’d set the scene and it was laid out perfectly but it didn’t have any of me in it. I’d edited myself out of the piece before my ideas had time to develop and stick.

So take my advice. Stop trying so hard.

No one writes a polished piece first go. Set your expectations low and write without limitations.

Writing is meant to be easy. It’s like your fingers are dancing across the keyboard. Editing on the other hand is kinda painful. It’s like you’re running your fingers over a cheese grater.

Do other writers have the same problem? How do you stop yourself from editing to early?

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