Writing is rewriting.
This is not an original thought, but worth repeating.
The real point of any piece, the inner crankiness of malformed intent that pushes me to write, doesn’t emerge until the sixth or seventh draft, usually. (I’m writing for the terminally ill, after all —we’re all gonna die—and I don’t want to waste our collective valuable time with frilly froo froo stuff.
Don’t you have enough crap in your life already? Yeah. Me, too.
Writing is mostly staying at the chair and getting the first five versions out of the way so I can really begin to work, to follow the scent, to hone and polish and revel in the craft and mystery of it. I murder my own words for the greater glory of the correct ones still caught in a holding pattern and unable to land.
The final piece may look nothing at all like the first — or fifth, or eighth — draft. That’s just how it works.
The stuff I’m most unhappy with are the things that I pushed out into the light of day too soon.
Like this post, for instance.
This was only the fourth draft, and it shows. I should probably go back and cut about 20 percent more. 🙂