Monday, January 18, 2010

Really, really crappy writing

The great Earnest Hemingway once said, "The first draft of anything is (insert expletive here)."

And that short quote, my friends, has always made me feel better. It also makes me wonder at a real writer's process. Not mine. I admittedly don't know what I'm doing. But I just can't imagine the likes of Hemingway doing what we see so often in cartoons and sitcoms- sitting there with a ream of paper, scribbling something, then balling the paper up and tossing it into the trash can. Can you see Shakespeare doing that? Of course not. From God's mouth to Shakespeare's pen, right? Or wrong?

Maybe in Shakespeare's first draft, Juliet started out as Sally, the plucky, somewhat overweight short order cook for the Capulets. Hey, it's a possibility.

I think what separates the writer from the non-writer is this. A writer puts pen to paper (which can be terrifying in and of itself), writes crap, but then has the hutspah to work with the crap until it is something much more presentable.

Because even if the first draft is *&$%@, it doesn't mean your final draft will be.


  1. Now I don't care who you are... that Juliet comment is funny.

  2. Do you attend a writer's group? I'm scared to go to one. I'm afraid there will be a bunch of ultra smart, serious writers who think I am what you described...the loser who thinks they are writing a book:)

  3. I have just ventured into one- meaning I have signed up online to attend one should I actually get the courage to attend. So no, not yet. I worry about the same thing. I would hope that upon going, I would find a whole bunch of "me"s sitting around, just as scared as I am. Let me know if you attend one and I will do the same! Writing is putting yourself out there and it is dang scary!

  4. And by the way nicandangie,
    An INSANELY huge thank you for finding my blog and making a comment. It means the absolute world to me!!!

  5. I feel you. It means a lot to have people take you seriously. My husband surprised me with a laptop as a way of saying I should write. I hang on to that. One person in the world believes in me:) I'll follow your blog.