Compressing Wisdom

Since writing is very hard and rewriting is comparatively easy and rather fun, I always write my scripts all the way through as fast as I can, the first day, if possible, putting in crap jokes and pattern dialogue—“Homer, I don’t want you to do that.” “Then I won’t do it.” Then the next day, when I get up, the script’s been written. It’s lousy, but it’s a script. The hard part is done. It’s like a crappy little elf has snuck into my office and badly done all my work for me, and then left with a tip of his crappy hat. All I have to do from that point on is fix it. So I’ve taken a very hard job, writing, and turned it into an easy one, rewriting, overnight. I advise all writers to do their scripts and other writing this way. (John Swartzwelder [<link; Wikipedia])

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“The idea in this quote has a beautiful actionable kernel.

What is your process for extracting it?”

“I follow a two-stage process.

The first stage is Paraphrasing/Editing. I seek to express the idea as a directive [<link; article by Derek Sivers] in as few words as possible.

Writing is hard; rewriting comparatively easy and fun.

Finish writing as fast as you can. It will be lousy, but the hard part is done. All you have to do from that point on is fix it.

You thus take a hard job, writing, and turn it into an easy one, rewriting.

The second stage is Tweet Writing. I seek to capture the essence of the idea as a tweet/aphorism.

Write fast.
Rewrite slowly.


About Dani Trusca

Playfully seeking wisdom

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