top of page


Unconventional Editing Advice

Whimsical collage of the 'David' sculpture throwing a punch in front of a light purple newspaper background

The resounding writing advice today tends to be, “Just get the words on paper. You can edit it later. You can’t edit a blank page. All first drafts are garbage anyway…Just write the words and keep going!”

The result? 

Editing is BRUTAL because first drafts sound like Kronk from The Emperor’s New Groove.

I can virtually guarantee that if you take this approach with essays, you’ll end up with a garbage product or you’ll have to re-do it. 

For books? Well, my experience is largely the same. The messier the first draft, the harder the clean-up.

So, contrary to popular opinion today, I would argue that it’s OK to write a more measured first draft and save yourself a headache in edits

This doesn’t mean every word needs to be perfect. The big difference is that you work on the sentence/scene until you feel satisfied (for now), rather than just writing the first thing that pops into your head. 

It definitely makes the next round of edits easier, and I think it might make your overall process faster, too! I dive deeper into this subject in episode 57 of the Vocabbett podcast. Listen below or on your favorite podcast player!

bottom of page