Day one hundred ninety-three of my 365 Day Writing Project.
Reading through a first draft is eye-opening. This is my first time doing so at this level and I must say, it isn’t for the weak. Or at least, it isn’t easy for the obsessive revisers/editors like me.
I stopped in the middle of Chapter 6 tonight. I stopped mid-chapter partly because I am tired and it’s late, but also because I needed a break from reading – and then having to leave untouched – an endless slew of factual errors, plot disconnects, grammar faux pas and non-descriptive, sub-par writing. I made notes about many of these issues as I went along so I can come back to them later, but that sure as hell didn’t make me feel better about them.
What does make me feel better is the promise of revising and rewriting. And, quotes like these which I am including here to return to again (and again) when the frustration returns:
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams
“There is no great writing, only great rewriting.” – Justice Brandeis
“It is perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly.” – C. J. Cherryh
“Books aren’t written, they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it…” – Michael Crichton
“I have never thought of myself as a good writer. Anyone who wants reassurance of that should read one of my first drafts. But I’m one of the world’s great rewriters.” – James A. Michener