I stumbled across a website today that quotes writers on writing. Three quotes stood out for me:
“Most of my essays have no plot structure, they are a ramble in the woods, or a ramble in the basement of my mind.” –E.B. White
That’s exactly how I write. I have no idea what I’m going to say when I sit down to write. I just put words on paper as fast as I can, trying to unleash my subconscious to see what comes out of me.
“First drafts of anything are shit.” –Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway was right. A writer has to go back and revise until he’s satisfied with what he’s written.
“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” –Jack London
If you wait for inspiration to start writing, you might have to wait weeks, months or even years. The first thing you have to do is sit your ass down and start writing, or write standing up like Hemingway did. Going after it with a club is just starting. If you let the words gush out, you’ll then have something to mold to your liking during the revising process.
Out of the fifty or so quotes I came across today, I picked out three that I could totally identify with and went after them with a club, typing as much about them as I could at a breakneck speed. The first draft was crap, as usual, and then I started revising those ramblings.
So don’t say to yourself, “I’ll wait till tomorrow to start writing my story, poem, novel, article, essay, play or speech.” Tomorrow might never come. Start now. Write now!