Yesterday I posted on the care and training of cliches, and it becomes apparent this approach isn’t preferred by all writers. Erica, it seems, has a shoot-to-kill order in place.
It does highlight a simple truth—what works for me won’t necessarily work for you.
I’ve learned to embrace my cliches, my extra adverbs, my sentences that—after the second or third attempt—just don’t say what I want to say. I adopted these potentially bad habits because for me the alternative was to not write at all.
I was unable to silence my inner editor enough to make any progress. Every sentence I wrote, I had this shrill harpy screaming in my head: “That’s crap, awful, lame - you can’t write that.” I’d get stuck, rewriting the same paragraph over and over, getting more and more frustrated.
A few overworked pages or chapters don't make a manuscript. I had to find a way forward if I wanted to write, and I did. It isn’t without risks—it’s easy to become blind to the cliches and clunky bits. Especially the sneaky-hide-in-the-corner-ones. Good news though: I’m now able to tidy up as I go and still advance the word count, keep that story rolling.
I found a tool that worked for me. It might work for you, or it might not. You won’t know until you see how well it fits.