Write first, proofread later. Sounds obvious, right?
It is, but it’s surprising how tempting it is to keep going back to auto-correct even when still on the first draft.
It’s a hangover from our school days, perhaps, when we’re taught to be risk averse. Don’t make mistakes, learn the rules, pass the tests, get good grades. Avoid those red marks. Don’t lose face.
Time to move on from all that. Your first few drafts should be messy – because creativity is messy. You want your document to be the best it can be, so enjoy the messy part. Fall in love with it, roll around in it. At this point it’s vital to be detached from the little mistakes you’re making. And you will make them. You’ll make big ones, too.
Writing and proofreading are completely different tasks requiring different mindsets, and it’s very difficult to do both at the same time.
So don’t even try. Proofreading can be creative and fun – honestly! – but it is also fine lacework. Getting hung up on critical details can prevent you from seeing the bigger picture, and interfere with the creative writing process.
Proofreading comes after writing and editing. So write first, and don’t worry about proofreading until afterwards.