I have been recently reading blogger Samantha Clark’s update for the Austin SCBWI conference on her blog “Day by Day Writer“. It sounds like it was a great event and filled with tons of useful information for all who attended. I was very interested in speaker Lisa Graff’s insight regarding revision.
Here is what Samantha shared on her blog:
“For the first draft, Lisa said it’s ok to write garbage. Writers can’t get to their genius until they’ve written the garbage, she said. The editor part of the writer takes out the garbage after the genius has come through.”
This is something I struggle with daily. I constantly have to tell myself that it’s ok to write garbage and that editing can’t take place on a blank page.
Here’s some other great advice from Lisa:
- Read what your audience is reading, especially for picture books because markets change. And read like an editor, questioning everything, every decision that went into that book.
- Know the rules (such as POV) as an editor, but be willing to experiment with them as a writer. It’s ok to break the rules when it’s essential for storytelling.
- Write for yourself not for trends, because you won’t be happy.
- Enjoy your own writing as a writer, but be prepared to kill your darlings as an editor. Do what’s right for the book.
- Make sure that everything in your book is there for a reason.
- As a writer, believe in yourself, but as an editor, push yourself to do better.
- Don’t be a writer and editor at the same time, because it will make you overly critical, stop your creativity and lead you to writer’s block.
- And, never try to appease an agent or editor. Be willing to stand up for yourself.
So today I am giving myself permission to write something truly awful, and hopefully I will find my genius. If not there is always the delete button.
And be sure to check out Samantha’s blog to find out more great information from the Austin conference.
Writing on the Sidewalk