Book In A Year Series: Month 8-What Does It Mean To Rewrite?

“You can’t edit a blank page.”-Nora Roberts

Every writer needs a map. This map needs to be beyond an outline! While I am an advocate of outlines (when the story demands it), I am a bigger fan and proponent of letting the story write itself. I am a bigger fan of letting the story tell itself. This is what the first draft is for! The first draft is meant for you to fumble, stubble, and figure out what its you want to write about.

Yes, Hemingway was right. “All first drafts are shit.” Yes, this is a direct quote. As coarse as it is, he’s right! First drafts are chaotic, messy and they make you doubt your sanity. This is why there is a tug of war between writing and not writing! There will always be this tug of war because first drafts are hard to get through. But, to add to something, something must be there first.

Rewrites are not punishment–they are needed direction. Get through the hard stuff, to get to the good stuff. Writing is a discipline, and rewrites demand that level of focus. Your future writer self will thank you.

Book In A Year Series: Month 8-What Does It Mean To Rewrite?

Often, when the topic of re-writes come up, writers panic. Like, completely panic! But let me be the voice of reason to this process. As we talked about last month, the power of a rewrite is that you get to change your work to the version that you envision.

Rewriting includes editing, yes. But it also includes you being able to revamp the work you have. While, giving you as the writer the power to scrap and start over, or build on what you have. Rewriting allows your story to become what you desire it to be!

There are certain stories that I have started–and finished!–which needed to have more cohesion, more backstory and to just be sat on in order to process what I want to do next. Even in a professional editing capacity, there may come a time where your editor–who only wants the best for you!–will tell you the exact advice. It is not meant to kick over your confidence, but to alert you that there is more in this work which you may have missed!

Be confident. Keep writing. You can do it!