Rewriting is easier than writing

There's a strategy I've seen mentioned independently by some of the most prolific writers.
John Swartzwelder
puts it best here:

But I do have a trick that makes things easier for me. Since writing is very hard and rewriting is comparatively easy and rather fun, I always write my scripts all the way through as fast as I can, the first day, if possible, putting in crap jokes and pattern dialogue—“Homer, I don’t want you to do that.” “Then I won’t do it.” Then the next day, when I get up, the script’s been written. It’s lousy, but it’s a script. The hard part is done. It’s like a crappy little elf has snuck into my office and badly done all my work for me, and then left with a tip of his crappy hat. All I have to do from that point on is fix it. So I’ve taken a very hard job, writing, and turned it into an easy one, rewriting, overnight. I advise all writers to do their scripts and other writing this way. And be sure to send me a small royalty every time you do it.

Sylvester Stallone
has also mentioned this strategy in a fireside chat. He talks about how much more easy it is to improve on a heaping shit pile of finished writing then it is to start, continue, or finish a new thing in progress.

When something is finished, even if poorly, a lot of the project has been scoped for you. If it's a piece of fiction then you already know what the general plot is and who the important characters and settings and themes are. Now it's just time for you to go in and make it actually all work. Kind of like if a strategist + designer figure out what needs to be programmed and they just hand you a finished spec ( if you're a programmer ).

Facing an unfinished piece of work provides the joy of opportunity and endless possibilities. You might write your big thing! This might be it! But that also makes it paralyzing. Every sentence you write feels like irreversible commits to an unforgiving world.

I think learning how to revise is just as important in writing than writing itself. The best pieces of work were forged in conditions where writing and revision couldn't easily be distinguished. Yes it looked like this writer was writing here... but they were also revising.

I'm guilty of not revising enough. Writing too many one-offs. That's probably why I love the world of
and the characters within it. It's one of the only places where I've revised over the years. And I continue to revise there. 
Good one. I used to do this a lot with 200WaD. I had so many drafts started. All I needed to maintain my streak was finish one and edit it. I loved the editing down to just 200 words more than writing the first draft. Editing makes me often change my intro, conclusion and the topic. If you ask me, writing is all about the editing. That is where the magic happens. 
2021-05-20 22:43:17
So when yo0u missed a day of writing was it when you didn't have any 'finished' draft that you could edit/revise down to 200?
2021-05-21 13:55:08
I never missed a day until 2020. I was working with a non-profit group with people in Ethiopia and a meeting went on for hours past midnight. That was the first time I missed my 440+ days or so of the streak. I just didn't realize the time.
Even if I didn't have a finished draft back in those days, I would post privately until I got to edit it to my liking. 
2021-05-21 15:10:01
oh is that what those private posts were??? lol

I thought they were you just venting in private. 

2021-05-21 15:36:19
One of the many uses of private posts yes. 
2021-05-21 22:11:59

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