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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Saturday, December 21, 2019


I don't at all disdain revision. I frequently start a writing session by going over what I have written so far, on the chapter, and make minor tweaks. If I find a sentence I don't like, or that doesn't express an idea in the way I want it to sound, I rewrite it. If it looks like I've written a paragraph too quickly, or I need to develop a sub-idea in that paragraph, in a paragraph of its own, then I will do that.

I make an effort not to repeat words. I will see if I've used a word more than once in a paragraph, or twice on a page. Of course, my current book has LORCA LORCA MUSIC MUSIC LORCA MUSIC LORCA... I can't quite avoid that. But I do attempt to take out a few of those too.

What I object to in the idea that nobody can write a decent first draft, though, is that when pen and ink were expensive and cumbersome to use, people, not even professional writers, wrote fluent letters with few if any blot-outs. They just did. An ordinary college student can write an email with normal grammar and it is fine. Anne Lammott could presumably write a spontaneous email to her editor and not revise it, and it wouldn't be shitty as a piece of writing.

Everyone should be able to compose mediocre prose on cue. A good writer will produce first drafts that are good. A superb writer, first drafts that are a bit better than good.


I don't revise poems, because they tend to occur to me whole.  I don't like to make my poems sound "written." If they are over-written, even worse.

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