Monday’s Writerly Quote

I know many of us, especially us Row80ers, are in the midst of editing and revising. It can be one of the most difficult parts of the process, but it’s also the most necessary. This is where we take that lump of coal and eventually end up with a diamond.

Even Mark Twain agrees, in a way:

Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.

Okay, so it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but he’s right. The majority of us writers (and I really could say ‘all’ in that I haven’t run into a bad story ‘idea’ yet) have a fabulous story rumbling around in our minds. The issue is figuring out which words need to be crossed out as we translate from mind to paper.

Something we should all understand is that if we want to be great writers we will never stop editing. Let me say that one more time. If you want to be a great writer, you will neverĀ get to a point where you create a perfect first draft. You may create a pretty awesome first draft one day, but if you’re the type satisfied with mediocre effort, do us readers a favor and seek another career.

As a reader, I want the best from that author. I should want to do the same for my own readers, and I hope you do, too.

So embrace the editing process, friends. Let’s figure out which wrong words to cross out and show our readers stories they won’t be able to put down. Let’s never settle for mediocrity.

Do you like the editing process? Hate it? What have you done to help yourself better embrace it? How many drafts do you go through before you let anyone read your story?