Monday, 24 June 2013

I have rewritten--often several times--every word I have ever published. My pencils outlast their erasers.

Whilst I can't quite match Nabokov since I don't use a pencil to write, my backspace and delete keys are worn to a frazzle.

I've got over the folly of thinking that the wonderful spontaneity of my stream of consciousness first draft will be lost if I re-write. Regurgitating thoughts and ideas quite randomly onto a page is all very well, all very liberating, but rather unfortunate if it makes no sense to others and they simply think you're a self-indulgent screwball.

Just because James Joyce got away with it...

by Ed Rath
My re-write of The Mysterious Disappearing Flower - the story that I once thought was unsurpassably good (with the confidence of a vastly inexperienced writer) is now about a hundred times better - or will be by the time I've finished slashing and burning. Even if it hurts sometimes.

"Writing a first draft is like groping one's way into a dark room, or overhearing a faint conversation, or telling a joke whose punchline you've forgotten. As someone said, one writes mainly to rewrite, for rewriting and revising are how one's mind comes to inhabit the material fully." - Ted Solotaroff

Say it often enough and loud enough, Ted, and you'll have me well and truly convinced.