Writing is a craft and, like all craft, proceeds by stages: conception, material selection, rough shaping, detailed shaping, sanding and finishing.
Inventions are rarely just a sudden bright idea. Even if they are, they usually have antecedents in the form of pieces of the idea... Piecing these things together gives one a sense of where inventions come from, and that's interesting.
Many novice writers, students in particular, think that writing is little more than copying down their self-talk, the palaver of the voices they hear in their heads. Of course, self-talk is thinking, and writing begins with thinking.
I've puzzled over the difficulty that students have with editing, and I think I've identified its source: It's their self-talk. We all talk to ourselves, inside our heads. That's what consciousness is.
Although every writer dreams of getting it right on the first pass, very few succeed.
I think I want to write a biography, something with broad appeal, but I haven't figured out about whom.
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