À plus tard !

I’ve entered a slightly obsessive state …. writing, rewriting, writing, rewriting, writing, rewriting … I’m stuck in a loop.

I don’t like loops.

Anyway, long story short, I haven’t read comments.


I also haven’t read my email, or figured out how to use Anki cards with my Fluent Forever pronunciation trainers.

My Duolingo project, on the other hand (thank you, Doug), is proceeding apace, although I’ve recently discovered it’s possible to get locked out of the app due to lack of “health.”

Which I don’t understand, health.

Back to the writing-rewriting business, it’s funny how college composition textbooks never mention that aspect of writing. According to every text I’ve consulted, the writing process has 6 stages:

  • Brainstorming
  • Freewriting
  • Drafting
  • Revising
  • Copy editing
  • “Publishing”

Where is Stuck-in-a-loop?

Here’s my two cents.

I don’t think real writers ever free-write.1 Ever, ever, ever, ever.

I certainly don’t. I haven’t free-written a word in my life.

Real writers obsessively write and rewrite the same passage for hours on end. Hours, days, months.

Sometimes years. One of Ed’s colleagues at UCLA took 20 years to write his book. Ed’s closest friend here at NYU may have taken longer than that.

They were both really good books, too.

1. Apologies to any real writers who do free write. Also, honesty compels me to add that I’m pretty sure “every text I’ve ever consulted” is probably an exaggeration.

2 thoughts on “À plus tard !

  1. First, it looks like “health” is only a concept on the mobile version of Duolingo. I’ve never run across it on the desktop version.

    As to writing:

    Robert A. Heinlein’s Rules for Writers:

    1. You Must Write
    2. Finish What Your Start
    3. You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order
    4. You Must Put Your Story on the Market
    5. You Must Keep it on the Market until it has Sold

    Also, “Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”

    FWIW, I’m pretty sure that “freewriting” is something for people who don’t write for money to a deadline.


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