Sunday, 4 August 2013

Writing is Rewriting

I wish I had known this ages ago, it would have saved me from hours of mental torture as I aspired toward absolute perfection.

Yes, writing is awesome. It takes you places you never thought you would go. But writing is also hard and there is one heck of a learning curve to it for some of us. I only started getting really serious about my writing a year ago. In the past year I've learned many lessons about my craft. I've learned about my process, what works for me, what doesn't work for me. Most of all, I have learned that this meme, which I stole from a post on Writers Write, is absolutely correct.

First drafts are awesome, after a couple of revisions. Revisions really are where the magic happens. The first draft lays the ground work for your story, or the 'bones' as I call it. The revisions are where I add the meat. The revisions delve deeper into the details. The revisions are where you get to breathe life into your story.

I used to be terrified of revisions. I thought that if I had to revise something it meant I did something wrong the first time. I couldn't have been further from the truth. I wish I had known the special kind of magic that happens with revisions. It's a very liberating feeling, to have this knowledge that there is no "wrong" in writing. If it's not quite what you want, you simply change it until it becomes what you envision.

Writing is awesome, but revisions are magical. Don't be afraid to revise. You did nothing wrong. Actually I find the opposite is true. If you are able to improve something you wrote in the revision process, you did something right.


  1. Couldn't agree with you more. I always said that the first draft should never be seen by anyone other than the author because first drafts are meant to be full of holes and mistakes. If we could nail a novel with the first draft then the writing game would be ten times easier.

    1. First drafts are simply horrific. Both to read and to write.