21 Harsh tips from the Greats #1

1. The first draft of everything is shit. -Ernest Hemingway

Agreed. But if you go into it expecting it, you’ll be alright. I was a long time victim of my own inner editor, never finishing anything because it was never good enough. Good enough comes later. Get it written down first, change things along the way only if they help you get more down, and get something written.

I’m currently in the middle of editing my first finished draft of anything, and it’s complete shit. Ok, maybe no complete, but I’m re-reading the first 20 chapters or so and going “What the hell was a thinking? Where was I going with this? What did I mean by that? Why on earth did X character say that- it makes no sense!” But it kept the story going, at the time, so it served its purpose. Now that I know the shape of the whole story, I can see why Tab A really doesn’t go with Slot B, and I can fix it. Trying to do that while you’re still taking everything out the box is a recipe for disaster.

So the take home message from this advice is the unspoken, “Write anyways”. There is always tomorrow to edit, but you cannot edit what you didn’t get written today.

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