Hello, and welcome to the twenty-fourth essay in my ongoing series of essays on the art and craft of writing. We're almost halfway through the original set of fifty thoughts on writing
, which is a slightly awe-inspiring thought if I think about it too hard. These essays will eventually touch on as many aspects of the art of writing as I can think of, and may occasionally seem to be self-contradictory. Writing is like that.
Here's our thought for the day:Thoughts on Writing #24: Revise or Die.
Now, those of you who have been following this series may look at today's topic and find yourselves scratching your heads. 'But wait,' you might say, 'wasn't essay twenty-three about revision?' You'd be right. Because here's the thing: we're going to be circling back to editing, revision, and critique quite a bit as this essay series goes on. It's that important. Which brings us to today's expanded topic:Anyone who tells you that your first draft is brilliant, perfect poetry and deserves to be published just as it is and you shouldn't change a word and oh, you're going to be famous and make enough money to buy a desert island is either a) lying, b) delusional, or c) your mother.
Does it seem like I'm harping on this? That's because I am, a bit. We all have cheerleaders. We all have people who believe, truly and deeply, that we are the perfect special snowflakes to end all perfect special snowflakes, and that because we are perfect special snowflakes, we need a constant stream of validation, love, and affirmation, because otherwise we might melt. Those are wonderful people. Those are important people. And sometimes, those are the people we need to listen to the least.
We're all special snowflakes. We all need to turn on the heat. Ready? Excellent. Now let's begin.( Collapse )