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Sunday, September 11, 2011

“Like an old gold-panning prospector, you must resign yourself to digging up a lot of sand from which you will later patiently wash out a few minute particles of gold ore.” –Dorothy Bryant

I’ve heard it said you sometimes need to write 100 pages and throw away the first 99 to get something good. If you think about words like sand, that you need a hundred pounds of ‘sand’ to find ten flakes of gold, suddenly freewriting takes on a whole new meaning. It becomes a sluice box rather than a single pan. Freewrite as if you need to produce a hundred pounds of words for every ounce of gold.

“I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit,” Hemingway confided to F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1934. “I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.”

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