People often say that the first step is the hardest.
I can attest to this—as I’m sure others can as well. Presently, I’m in the middle of writing my first novel, and it’s been very tough. Not only due to making time to actually write it, but overcoming a big flaw I have: editing while I write.
Overcoming this has been harder than I’d anticipated. When you’ve done something for so long, it’s hard to change it. But being steadfast in my efforts, I’m releasing the reins a bit, and allowing myself the freedom to mess up on drafts.
I also realized that editing while writing—at least for me—was due to laziness. Plain and simple. It seemed easier to edit while writing, therefore cutting down the amount of times the draft would need to be edited.
My advice to you is that you simply can’t look at it that way. Writing is a long journey anyway, no matter what you choose to write. Whether it’s a screenplay, manuscript, poem or a research paper. When you edit and write at the same time, it makes your journey a bit longer, because you’re forever editing your first page, your first paragraph, or even worse, your first sentence.
(Yes, I’ve done that. And then have felt stupid afterwards.)
Could your page/paragraph/sentence be better? Of course it could. Anything and everything could be edited to be better. But you’re already working hard on your draft—why make your job even harder? That’s counterproductive.
On an upside, after a draft of the first chapter was read through, I’d gotten some notes and made some changes I’m very happy with. So, onward!
I’m curious, what are your methods for writing?