I've been writing a long, long time. And I don't think that I have ever concerned myself with output. No, that's not quite right. But my main preoccupation, whether it's a song lyric, poem, blog, letter to the editor, direct marketing package or major book is to tighten and edit and polish.
Until? Until--well, the old saying is "Cut it till it bleeds." And another--also from Madison Avenue, where I used to have my little agency--was "Learn to kill your babies." Horrible. But graphic. I was heartened to discover that Joseph Persico still takes at least ten drafts to get it right. I have no limit: Ten or fifty. I never count.
But, steadily, from the agonies of writer's block to the bliss of easy first drafts, I've gotten better. Which tells me that if you keep writing, things do improve.
I doubt that I will ever count pages with much conviction. Though, I have to admit, when I'm really humming along, and the pages pile up, I allow myself the sin of pride--and a triumphant announcement to my wife.
Last edited by sigrosenblum; 03-24-2009 at 12:54 AM.