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“The bottom line is that I like my first drafts to be blind, unconscious, messy efforts; that's what gets me the best material.”

-- Jennifer Egan


  • Try to write in stretches of at least thirty minutes. Writing can provide momentum, and once you get going, the task becomes easier.
  • Don’t let small questions bog you down. Just make a note of them in brackets—or in all caps—or make a tentative decision and move on.
  • Remember that first drafts aren’t perfect. Concentrate on getting all your ideas written down, and don’t worry about anything else.
  • Stop writing at a place where you know exactly what will come net. Doing so will help you start easily when you return to the draft.


From The Everyday Writer by Andrea A. Lunsford