In What Writers Really Do When They Write George Saunders gives a great insight into some parts of his working process.
What does an artist do, mostly? She tweaks that which she’s already done. There are those moments when we sit before a blank page, but mostly we’re adjusting that which is already there. The writer revises, the painter touches up, the director edits, the musician overdubs.
Or “Writing is rewriting,” as someone once put it.1
It’s a good piece, and well worth reading. Oddly, in the printed edition (Saturday’s Guardian Review section) it was entitled “Master of the Universe.”
Hard to find who, but it seems to have been Hemingway. Whose writing I don’t like, but that doesn’t mean he was wrong. ↩︎