The Horrors of Rewriting

Talk about an essay that needs rewriting…Sheesh.

But, to tell the truth, rewriting is the biggest pain in the you-know-what that a writer has ever known. This very night, I have spent four hours alone rewriting one of my pet novels. Rewriting is hard.

This is the part of writing most of us don’t think about. We just want a nice, cute little book that you write the first time and you never have to come back to. Sheesh…But the truth is, it’s not that way. And I’m gonna have to say that it is invariably this way. There is no time in which you write a full-length novel that you will not need rewriting. It’s a necessity for projects of this size.

That being said, it is important to do most things correctly the first time. You’ll save yourself a lot of, but not all, work if you do a good job in your initial writing process. But nothing’s perfect the right time, and you strive for perfection. You will not put a half-formed piece of crap on the market.

Rewriting is the true mark of a writer. It divides all who will be writers from all who will not be writers. Make no mistake: rewriting doesn’t necessarily take that much skill, just grit, determination, diligence, half a brain and a wise person whose opinion of literature you trust. This is all you need.

So, who are the real writers? Those stick-to-it illogical nerds who won’t stay down when the rewriting process pops them a good one. They have a passion for writing, and certainly a few ill remarks, plot holes, or potential rewrites won’t slow them down. Part of their dream is the backbone to do it.

Western author Louis La’mour had a saying: “Dreamers spend all their time wishing the world was a certain way, and the doers are the ones who bring it about.” I know, I butchered that quote, but the essence remains true: dreamers don’t end up doing anything, and doers don’t do any dreaming. Be a dreamer AND a doer. Make your dreams a reality.

Of course, the biggest roadblock to writing success is the rewriting process. Of I can be any comfort to you: just know, that in your darkest moment, that you didn’t write something so bad that someone out there won’t read it. And, to make things more optimistic, every time you rewrite, your story gets better! *Poetic alert* Just as the flames purified imperfect metal in days gone by, your prose will be all the better for a few rewritings!

But, of course that’s not motivation enough. Human beings are incredibly lazy. NO motivation will get your gears turning if you don’t have the will to write. That’s not something I can give you, nor can your peers, nor can your parents, your spouse, or your critics can give you the will to write. You must motivate yourself.

But that’s what separates the writers from the hobbyists. So, I exhort you: rewrite. Rewrite your whole book if you must. Never rest until it is perfect. Pick out bits of good, sound advice from those who want to see your work improve, and reject untrue and trollish opinions from those who would see you fail.

Above all, do not give up. Keep up your courage, and rewrite.

Good luck, and happy (re)writing!


Published by Van Ghalta

A cold, dark, mysterious character who purposefully wrote a story so that he could fit into it...A story where he himself WRITES stories, practices martial arts, blogs, plays airsoft, collects MTG trading cards, plays outdated video games, and writes weird, third-person bios for himself...

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