Sep. 15th, 2013


Sep. 15th, 2013 11:26 am
coniferous_you: (Why I'm Smiling.)
One of the students I am editing for this term told me a story yesterday, about this really arrogant girl in her class who tried to explain to everyone how to write a paper.

"I know how to write papers," she said, "I'm very good at it."

She was pretty irate (arguably with good reason). But I talked her down in reminding her that all the truly good writers allow themselves to be terrible. The good writers, and I think this goes beyond just academic papers, are the ones who know that the first thing that goes onto the page is going to be highly flawed, if not total garbage.

The real skill isn't in how well you can express yourself in the first flyover. The only goal for that first draft is to finish it.

It helps to have something workable, but solid editing (as well as a sense of humour about the whole process) will always be what separates a truly skilled writer from one who rides high on her (or his) own "talent."

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