In his recent newsletter, Matt Bell had insightful comments about the practice of writing:
- Revision is one of the ways you stay inside a book long enough to manifest yourself upon the page not once or twice but dozens or hundreds of times
- [The] "genius" books we all love really are better than what any one of us could write on any individual day, but that's not how they were written: they were written one small step at a time, just like our books will be.
- As we fill our hours and days with the work of rewriting, our fictions become not written by any one self but by the spectrum of selves we're always becoming, even as the novel is becoming alongside us.
- In the end, if all goes well, your final book will be smarter and more insightful and more poignant than you are on any given day.
“This distinction between deliberate practice aimed at a particular goal and generic practice is crucial, because not every type of practice leads to improved ability. You don’t get benefits from mechanical repetition, but by adjusting your execution over and over to get closer to your goal.”
Favorite instructors I’ve studied with: Mark Spencer (Writer’s Digest University), Richard Thomas (Storyville), Ken Liu (Gotham Writers), Jane Friedman (Jane Friedman Media), and the crew at Writing the Other.