Three Reasons You Can’t Write: You Don’t Want To Rewrite

by Randy Murray on June 3, 2014

Rewriting is not an admission of failure.

Rewriting is a sign that you are a working writer. It shows that you understand the process that successful writers follow. It is a demonstration that you care about the clarity and impact of what you’re writing.

And, most importantly, knowing that you will rewrite can make the start of writing something new much, much easier.

I talk with people who want to write, but claim that they simply can’t get started. Even when I urge them to write a “crappy first draft,” they bemoan the fact that writing is hard. It is hard. But it’s not so difficult to fill a page with bad writing.

I fill a lot of pages with bad writing. Sometimes it seems to be rather my speciality. But I don’t stop there.

Look at the muddle of topics! Does that even make sense? Is that really what you wanted to say?

And with that, a bit of clarity might emerge. And it becomes just a bit easier to write again and to write better.

Become willing to rewrite before you start your first draft and much of the pressure to write can simply fall away.

Editing is not rewriting. Fixing a sentence or two is not rewriting.

Mark up your original. Make lots of comments and notes. Think. Then start with a blank page and write again. THAT’s rewriting.

I hate to tell you, Bucky, but you’re not a good enough writer to get it all out there on the page in the first draft. Rewriting is not a sign that you’re not smart enough, that you’re not good enough. Become willing to rewrite before you start and suddenly it doesn’t matter so much how good your first draft is. Being willing to rewrite shows that you care how good your final draft is.

Practice this for a few years and you’ll find that your first drafts can become better. Sometimes very little rewriting will be required. But always rewrite.

It’s not about being humble. It’s about giving yourself permission to do the work of writing.

Copyright © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: