Had some help this morning

I have started typing up the second draft of Visitors and this morning I got some help:

In case you’re wondering, this is his story:

Jude also had a go at typing and afterwards went into the kitchen and made his own keyboard:

They seem to both be getting up earlier at the moment so they are around when I write more often. It’s more difficult to work with them there but I kind of like it. As Austin Kleon said:

Every day is “take your kid to work” day around here. Sometimes that’s a burden, sometimes it’s bliss, but it’s always full of meaning.

I’m glad they want to spend time with me and, if it takes a bit longer to finish the stories, it’s worth it.

Rewriting is writing

Writing is rewriting

I’ve heard this a thousand times, I’m sure you have as well, but I never understood it until recently. Oh, on an intellectual level I understood what it meant alright, but in practice? Not so much.

I tried to write every day, but to me the only thing that counted as writing was the first draft, so that’s what I focused on. I wrote first draft content every day and the rewriting got crammed in around the edges. I never got much out of it and it felt like I was taking time away from “real” writing.

Part of that is because a lot of writers talk about a daily word count for writing. I never found a good way to measure words rewritten. I mean, what are you supposed to do? Count the words you start with? Count the words you remove? Count the words you fix the spelling of? It didn’t work for me until I started to look at time spent writing instead.

I’m well aware that this is an arbitrary distinction, but it’s one that has helped me a lot. I don’t have time to write in the morning and rewrite in the afternoon and it’s better if I work on one story at a time. Now that rewriting feels like writing, I don’t neglect it. I also don’t worry whether I will be able to start writing again if I take time away from working on first drafts.

My hope is that this leads to better stories. I already know it makes writing them more enjoyable and I never thought I would say that about rewriting.