On First Drafts

Begin nipping and tucking.

Remember that active writing is a lot like active editing, you can’t give yourself to other things while you’re doing it.

Take people up on their offers to read your work. You need perspective.

Read the work of others. You need perspective.

Read out loud. You need perspective.

Don’t lose momentum. Don’t think about the 3 AM writing session in the hotel while everyone was asleep, or the 8 AMs of editing. They’re behind you.

Just sit down at your table on the left side of the library. Leave the head-phones off. Start tearing apart your baby, exposing ribs, sentences, paragraphs.

Nobody, as Brad told us, will tell us when to stop writing. A first draft isn’t a good enough excuse.

“You cut up the past to find the future.” – William Burroughs