Write blind, edit later.
You might’ve heard the saying “Write drunk, edit sober” (a quote that seems to be misattributed to good ol’ Hemingway). Which hypothetically could be helpful every once in a while, because it’s implying something about your intentions and thresholds. When you’re drunk you‘re likely to lack the patience to think things all the way through. And you can’t really bother to find the perfect words that’ll result in the most descriptive, precise, and beautiful sentence humanity has ever read. Basically you don’t really give a fuck.
Nevertheless, you have a thought, and clumsily you make letters appear on the screen, hoping that you’ll be able to get the gist of it at a later point.
With that thought in mind I recently started to write blind. What I mean by that is that I turn down the brightness of my screen to zero. My screen is completely black. Which relates to the whole “writing drunk”-thing. Granted this technique does require a certain familiarity with the keyboard in order to be some-what efficient. Nonetheless, when you can’t see the actual characters you’re typing out you don’t end up obsessing over typos. Instead you’re getting your thoughts out there so you can look back on them later.
You can’t edit what you can’t see. I’ll admit I find myself hitting backspace quite frequently when I can feel that I’ve spelled a word wrong, but that’s ok. There’s just no way you can possibly go back any further than 5–10 characters without completely losing track of where you are in the paragraph.
As a sidenote this opens up for some really interesting, and slightly innovative technologies. Being able to type on a keyboard without having a screen to disturb you, but at the same time, knowing that it’ll all end up in Google Docs, Evernote, or Dropbox would be super helpful. It allows you to focus on the writing, and nothing but the writing.
That’s where apps like OmmWriter have gotten so close. They’ve done a fantastic job optimizing the writing process for you, but they’ve left the one thing that will constantly disturb you — the letters in front of you. If you’re writing you need to write, and nothing else. You don’t need to edit straight away. Save that for later. Focus on the thoughts you need to get out.