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Creativity coach, writing and creative process instructor, speaker, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher 2012) and Dancing in the Dragon's Den (Red Wheel Weiser), Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center.

Eight Essentials Every Writer Must Master – Part 2


3. Revise and rewrite.

As previously posted, Essential #2 is the willingness to write a shitty first draft. But just because you write a shitty first draft, doesn’t mean you should inflict it on anyone else.

Acknowledging that all first drafts are shitty logically implies that every writer must revise and rewrite (except perhaps Isaac Asimov who claimed he never rewrote anything). I’m amazed at how many writers (or would-be writers) are unwilling to practice and acquire the skills needed to revise.

If you’re willing, but don’t know how to revise – or if you’re smart enough to realize there’s always more you can learn about rewriting – I suggest these Loft Summer classes: Cindra Halm’s Poetry: Renew, Refine Revise and Mary Carroll Moore’s online class Your Book Starts Here Part 3. The Loft will undoubtedly offer more revision classes this fall and next winter.

Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew offered practical revision advice in her guest post Seeing Again… and Again and Again. You can also select from a host of books on revising for every genre. My favorite for fiction is Revision: A Creative Approach to Writing and Rewriting Fiction by David Michael Kaplan.

4. Care for your creative brain.

There’s a plethora of ideas about creativity floating around – some supported by research, some supported by anecdote and some just myths that won’t die.

Based on the brain science research, I believe these five foundations of Self-care are most significant for writers: sleep, exercise, meditation, play and time to focus.

You can learn how these practices boost creativity and develop your own creative brain care program in:

Our next post will review Essentials 5 and 6. Until then, please comment on how you care for your creative brain or what gets you into revision mode.

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  1. Eight Essentials Every Writer Must Master – Part 3 « The Bane of Your Resistance - June 4, 2012

    […] previous post identified Essential #4 Care For Your Creative Brain. One of the things that creative brain of yours needs to do is […]

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