"Get It Written, and then Get It Right."

That's probably my favorite quote about writing, second only to "Writing is rewriting." The quote is actually attributed to James Thurber as, "Don't get it right—get it written," but I like my version better because it focuses on simply getting the words on paper first—no matter what state they're in—and editing them to perfection in subsequent drafts. Too many writers experience writer's block because they expect the words to pour onto the page in perfect arrangement on the first pass, and, when that doesn't happen, their frustration builds to the point where they simply throw in the towel. So take comfort in knowing that, for the vast majority of us, perfect words in perfect arrangement on the page on the first pass simply does not happen. As Ernest Hemingway once said, "The first draft of anything is shit." (Third favorite writing quote.)

So I knew writing and editing was the profession I wanted to pursue after a girlfriend in high school shared Ernest Hemingway's short story, "A Train Trip," with me. I marveled at how Hemingway affected all of my senses as a reader with such sparse prose. And I've strived to achieve the same effectiveness of succinctness in my own writing ever since.

And then I discovered John Gardner. And Raymond Carver. And Jay McInerney. And Harlan Ellison. And Ray Bradbury. And the list goes on and on.

If you haven't picked up on it by now, I love writing and I love editing. Live for it. So much so that I earned a Master of Education in English Education, and I taught middle and high school English for four years.

So what do I write about? All kinds of things: Traveling. Working. Eating. Drinking. Writing. Reading. Living. And other instances of general insanity.

Stay tuned.

(c) 2021 Shawn Harding