I find I do my best editing whilst on the sofa, it’s a great place for detailed, focused work to happen.
Probably something to do with the relaxing mode the brain gets into, not being a neuro scientist I can only hazard a guess.
After a brutal work day there is nothing like relaxing on a sofa. The body may be resting, but the mind is still working.
The sofa is an essential part of my writing process.
I write a lot, most of it never gets seen because it’s simply not ready or good enough to be shown. If you find that you don’t have a growing file of articles that have not seen the light of day it may be because your quality control needs adjusting and beefing up. You may be letting too much of your “less worthy” to be unleashed on the World and if you continuously do this you will diminish as a writer over time.
It’s impossible for everything you write to be good enough for the publication launch pad and so writing is as much about editing than it is about writing. Indeed it may be that editing is an inherent part of the writing process.
Hemingway, said you must be prepared to throw away your babies. This means that even the stuff you love should not see the light of day.
Writing well becomes about how well you develop your own critical faculties in regards to your own work. You may find it very easy to critique the work of others, but do you have the necessary mind set to accurately gauge the quality of your own writing.
This is where the sofa comes in. It works very well for me in getting me in the right mindset and catching the stuff which may otherwise pass me by.
It can’t be any old sofa though, it has to be a sofa in which you can cocoon yourself against distraction. A sofa that protects and hugs your sense of self. It’s all personal of course, my favourite sofa is a large leather affair, big enough to stretch out on and relax. It emits that same odour which old leather sofas tend to do. The smell signals to my brain that it’s time to edit.
Allowing you time and space to get tough with the copy.
The sofa simply develops a space where I will not get disturbed and where I can tell my mind I don’t need to write, I simply need to edit.
Most writers need a special space to allow the mind to do its work. I am writing this in Starbucks because it supplies the correct environment for the juices to flow and ideas to be written down. But, I will edit on the sofa, editing requires a different mindset, I must be prepared to throw away the good stuff. I find that difficult to do in Starbucks -there is probably some deep psychological reason for this – but on my ancient leather sofa I find it easy to wield the sword and to hack away.
Possibly my brain approaches it by creating two personas, Starbucks Guy and Sofa Guy. As it’s easier for me to edit other peoples than my own maybe Sofa guy sees Starbucks guy as a different person and can edit in a way that works.
The idea that I would edit whilst tapping this out on my iPad in Starbucks seems as impossible as swallowing whole plums wrapped in coarse sandpaper.
Do you have a space where you can put your mind into self editing mode?
This was a guest post from David McNab who creates articles and words for sofaworkshop.com