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Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition

Jack Kerouac

Do you proofread as you write?

Whenever spell check underlines something in its taunting red line, I immediately want to make it disappear. I know this interrupts my flow, but it’s almost impossible not to fix the mistake before moving on (I’m doing it right now as I type this!).

I notice that I tend to do more self-editing when I’m stuck in my stories. This is the sneakiest form of writers’ block. It feels like I’m being productive, but what I really am doing is stalling. Instead of getting a thousand words on the page, I get a few over-edited sentences.

Jack Kerouac said to remove literary, grammatical, and syntactical inhibition as you write—not forever. Just until you finish. You’ll have plenty of time to correct your mistakes when the mad dash is over.

May the muses be with you,


Do you correct mistakes as you write? What’s your worst procrastination habit?

Want a proofreading checklist for a flawless manuscript?

Look forward to Candace Johnson’s masterclass
in the Writers’ Mastermind


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