Mark Purcell on writing – I do the “re-read yesterday’s writing” thing first off, but sometimes end up spending most of the time adding, editing, cutting that, rather than forging ahead. But I do think it’s invaluable as means of picking up the threads from what came before. That said, I rarely write in a simple linear fashion.
I just ran across this post on writing, via Progressive Geographies. One of the things I found worth noting was Simone de Beauvoir‘s comment that before she began writing she spent a half hour reading over what she wrote the day before. I guess this is just common sense, and maybe everyone who writes seriously does this out of habit, but since I tend to be impatient, over-eager to start producing when I sit down, I fail to practice this good habit more often than not. I am going to try to do better.
A more theoretical point comes from the discussion between Jonathan Lethem and Paul Auster:
JL: For me, five or six hours of writing is plenty. That’s a lot. So, if I get that many hours the other stuff feels satisfying. The other stuff feels like a kind of grace. But if I…
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