21 Harsh Truths from the Greats #16

16. Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln’s Melancholy I thought, Oh, shit, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly. – Joshua Wolf Shenk

I cannot stress this enough. Of all the writing advice I’ve found, this is by far the most important. Just write. Have faith. Wait for the surprises, the aha! moment. But always forge ahead, or you may never find it.

 

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