Thursday, January 9, 2014

Writing Means Rewriting

At the American Scholar website, Professor Emeritus William McFeely tells this story:

I was sitting in a graduate school office with a problem: “I keep writing one try after another; it’s never right.” I was struggling with the paper the professor had assigned. Without a word, he opened the big bottom drawer of his desk, reached down, and lifted out a thick mass of messy paper, some of the pages handwritten, some typed (this was a very long time ago), and all of them marked up with scrawled changes. “And that was just a review,” he pronounced.

I was astonished. I thought the books of his that I had read, and liked, were so simple and clear, despite the complexity of his subject that I had assumed the prose had flowed effortlessly from his pen. Professor Morgan’s unspoken message to me was: keep writing and perfecting and eventually you will get there.

You can read the rest here.


| Permalink


Post a comment