Writing is Rewriting

In my posts about writing, I have been focusing on getting started: think about it and get it on paper. Ask yourself some questions, answer them in your head, then get the words on paper. Today I’d like to share this with you:

“When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” ― Stephen King, On Writing

At my first writer’s conference, I heard “writing is rewriting.” It has stayed with me to this day. Trained as a journalist, I am used to the notion of get it out, get it right, but get it out. Writers without daily deadlines, once they get whatever it is they want on paper, treat those words as if they belong in a museum. That’s a good way to never get anything done. The next step is just what King says: “(take) out all the things that are not the story.”

Every word you write won’t be a part of the final product. That’s OK. It’s not the words you start with, but the words you end with that count.

See you next week.

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