Writing is hard work.

I am the least of these when it comes to writing. I know grammar rules and have dabbled in the metrics of style, but the actual craft of writing, I am a novice.

Perhaps, the reason for my deficiency is given in the article below: not enough time to rewrite. What you normally get on my site here is a first draft with a hint of revision but no real attempt at a rewrite. Writing is hard work, and a wordsmith normally gets what she puts into her craft.

Interviewer: How much rewriting do you do?
Hemingway: It depends. I rewrote the ending of Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, 39 times before I was satisfied.
Interviewer: Was there some technical problem there? What was it that had stumped you?
Hemingway: Getting the words right. —Ernest Hemingway, The Paris Review Interview, 1956

“I have rewritten—often several times—every word I have ever published. My pencils outlast their erasers.” —Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory, 1966

“I don’t write easily or rapidly. My first draft usually has only a few elements worth keeping. I have to find what those are and build from them and throw out what doesn’t work, or what simply is not alive.” —Susan Sontag

For you writers out there – how do you go about your craft?

Read the full article here.

HT: Trevin Wax


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