Hemmingway: “First Draft of Anything is S***.”


Setting up a team.

We writer’s who wish to make a living as a writer, a few of us have gone to G+ and are building a community of those that wish to be the *FIRST* to read and give opinions, critique a story. The authors that hold their breath for every first draft we share among ourselves before we can decide to ¬†we need a critique. the words of Ernest Hemmingway.¬†

“First Draft of anything is s***.”

Mr. Hemmingway hit the nail on the head.  Yeah, this correct to the point of being a truism. But not all writers may think of it that way.  

It is an evolution, giving birth to a child of your mind. You work at the idea. Perhaps it comes to you while you are exercising, or in the middle of a meeting at work. Even if you are the CEO, you can’t just jump up and run out to enter it into a file. ¬†You might write it down on a notepad, making it look all official that you are paying attention.¬†

Or perhaps you are wakeboarding on a lake when the idea hits.  By the time you get somewhere to write it down, now has corrupted and no longer what you were thinking. 

How many seeds to novels has this happened? ¬†Thought of, then are stillborn because you were out of position to write them down, or you tell someone who couldn’t care less.

Then you ask them later and they don’t recall.

But then, you are in your garden, or cutting grass, dusting behind the curtains or washing the dishes and the husband, girlfriend, spouse, mom, dad watches you scamper across the floor to type something into the tablet/laptop/desktop. 

Or if it happens when you are in the shower, you use voice to text on your phone.  Then the spouse knocks on the door and asks who you are talking to?

You are a writer, is all they need to know, really.  I tell my spouse such things and she rolls her eyes and walks off. (The curse of artists everywhere I am sure- unless your spouse is one like you.  Like Julie Bell and Boris Vallejo or Stephen and Tabatha King)

So you have this idea.  You write like a madman on too much espresso, you make the hyperactive kitten seem like a sloth in comparison. 

Then you finish and you hand it to someone to proofread and edit. Perhaps two. ¬†Because they are family or friends, you 1. Feel you are taking advantage or 2. ¬†The answers they give may not be stringent enough. ¬†You *think* you have a gem on your hands, and probably is, but you can’t get an agent to read it. ¬†Or you are told your hooks are not developed enough.

So you open the manuscript and begin to re-write. ¬†Perhaps you are Tabatha King and smile, knowing your husband is about to generate another source of income. Perhaps you are Mr. Jones who works turning bills to profits for a company and then you come home to your wife who is a successful attorney — and she is writing, not a briefing, but an adventure or romance.

You read this pride of your spouse… And you facepalm.

Do you tell your best friend it’s great? or do you crush their dreams?¬†

No, you get them to re-write, edit and do it at least a half-dozen times. Then you read it again, do you find someone then to critique it? not a professional “Yes” person. ¬†You want to have them be hard-to-please, but not harsh and cruel.¬†

Polish that rough stone to a beautiful gem.

Then find a group that will give an honest comment after your 8th re-write.

Because every first draft is sh**. 



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Sail into the harbor of my soul; tell me your heart

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