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Sunday, October 09, 2011

“You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.” ~Arthur Polotnik

Write first, edit later. Follow the Muse and write your first draft without looking down. Whether you write from an outline or discover the story as you go, don’t stop to rewrite until you’ve reached the end. The risk in editing too soon is that you may just edit the best parts out thinking they don’t fit, and then discover a hundred pages later, the Muse had a reason for the image she handed you.

Another big reason for waiting to edit until you’re done – rewriting is a form of procrastination. Editing doesn't count toward your writing goal for the day. If you must edit, set a writing goal AND an editing goal.

“Don’t begin rewriting until you’ve finished the piece. Not necessarily the whole of a thing, but a scene, a section, a chapter. Since you don’t know at the beginning where the writing might take you, to begin rewriting too soon could dam the stream before it has a chance to find its natural course. Also, rewriting before you’re finished is a way to keep you from the actual writing. “—Judy Reeves

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