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A very special friend asked me if writing became easier as time goes by.

My first answer was that no, it does not. But — i said — you get better at thinking things that would be easier to put down on words. It’s like your thoughts get less spaghetti-like confuse. {And even if that was so, i guess you would begin to think about more complex things, since you would be dealing easily with the simple ones, so that in the end the text-crafting would remain as painful as ever…}

But then i came across a sidenote-like comment in a post from “Overcoming Bias” (which is one of those blogs i have a love/hate relationship with):

Incidentally… I once met a science-fiction author of a previous generation, and mentioned to him that the part of my writing I most struggled with, was my tendency to revise and revise and revise things I had already written, instead of writing new things. And he said, “Yes, that’s why I went back to the typewriter. The word processor made it too easy to revise things; I would do too much polishing, and writing stopped being fun for me.” It made me wonder if there’d be demand for an author’s word processor that wouldn’t let you revise anything until you finished your first draft.

Not a very uncommon tale, actually. It instantly reminded me about how Vilém Flusser (yes, i admit, Flusser is my hero!) was said to write. Supposedly, he would pick some blank pages, start typing whatever matter he had in his mind, and just keep going until some sort of end. But if he got interrupted, or if the train of thought somehow “derailed” he would read again whatever he had written and just begin again, in another blank page. And to boot he said that the sound of the typewriter would modulate his mind… (Did i say he’s my hero?)

Anyways, beginning from this post i will try a little experiment. I will limit my editing and just keep writing.

My self-imposed rules are as follows:

  1. if i want to change anything in the text, instead of going back and correcting i will write another paragraph. Even if it means rewriting most of the text as-was.
  2. refrain from correcting (including deleting the “wrong” paragraphs) until the bottom of the text is reached, and just then have a corrections-pass, deleting whatever was bad and correcting misspells.
  3. avoid the backspace! Do not use the mouse! Nor the arrow keys!

Maybe i’ll be writing like Flusser, but in a paragraph-scale…

Anyways, this was my first attempt and i still can’t say how it will turn out. I do not know if this will work. The experience so far is that this is not really as easy as it might sound, there is a real big temptation to go back and correct. Actually this first attempt had to be deleted whole and rewritten from scratch, which i do not know (amazingly) if is against my rules or not.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

One Comment

  1. so… let me know!


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