“I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.” ~James Michener
Amen to that, brother. There are a lot of great quotes out there by writers, but I think if there were any I would put in fancy writing, frame, and hang in my room somewhere, I think it just might have to be this one. Simple, to the point, and a great reminder for the type of writer I’m trying to become. Especially knowing how much I need to get my butt in gear on the rewriter part.
I have, in this last year, been churning out a lot of material. I haven’t been finishing much of it and the quality is probably pretty low, but that’s the point. I’m in a phase where I believe the quantity is more important than the quality. Eventually, that will shift, and I will concentrate on not really putting out anything new, but, instead, improve the quality of what is already there. I’m excited for the next ROW80, since my goal for that one is to rewrite my rough drafts for the only novel since that one I wrote in the sixth grade that I’ve ever finished. I’ll rewrite it, turn it into something of a higher quality, something a step closer to where I want it to be, and then then will hopefully get me in the mindset to go through all those novels I’ve been starting every month and rewriting (and finishing!) those.
It’s one of those things that reminds me that, as much as I wish I could just open a vein and have the words pour out of me naturally, this is an art and must be worked at. I look at the current revision of Serpent in a Cage and feel both shock and pride. There are more revision marks on those pages than there are actually typed words, which is why it’s getting a full reboot and rewrite rather than just a revision. It’s intimidating and exciting, and I just hope I have the attention span to really dedicate myself to it. But I know that through the rewrites, I’ll really shine, and I might even manage to go so far as to feel like maybe my work isn’t half bad, either.