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David Foster Wallace on the freedom to be crummy (his editing routine)

The Freedom To Be Crummy 43:00

So I write the first draft long hand, The second draft I rewrite long-hand on a clipboard, then I type it once, then I retype it then it sits for at least a week or two and I redo it, I type it again. And not “computer” re-typing, but starting all the way at the beginning as a hard copy. Why you ask? Good question.

I don’t think people who grew up with computers could do that.

For me I have to do it like that because otherwise I’m so scared for the first couple of drafts. If I think they have to be anywhere close to as good as the last draft I get so scared and full of that kind of narcissistic terror that I can’t do it. So I end up trading a lot of drudgery time for the freedom to be crummy in the first drafts.

—David Foster Wallace

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