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Two Paths to Being a Writer

Question from a reader -

You have maintained your commitment to being prolific which is made even more exceptional by the fact you are travelling around the world at the same time.

I realise your article on being prolific is about this, but accepting that I'm going to release a lot of crap before I realise something good is a tough wall to knock down. My biggest issue writing anything seems to be that it feel insufficent. Naturally no post I write has the length of Steve Yegge, the persuasiveness of Paul Graham, the content of Unqualified Reservations etc. etc. and while I can consciously accept this, there seems to be some mental block. How do you go "that's sufficient" and release it into the wild?

There's two basic approaches to being successful as a writer. The first, we could call the "Paul Graham / Derek Sivers" approach. This is where you explore a lot of ideas privately, go forward with the best ideas you have, and edit and polish the hell out of everything before you release it into the world. If you do this, and you've got talent as a writer, and you've got important ideas - then you're going to consistently only release masterpieces.

The second way is to just write a hell of a lot and know that a number of the things you write will turn out quite well, but your average quality level will be much lower. We could call this the "write every day no matter what" approach.

When should I republish a blog post... if ever?

On The Clumsy Oyster

I started blogging only recently, but I have had a love affair with words for most of my life. So when I posted a piece that nagged at me afterwards, I decided to tackle these questions:

I'm a big proponent of rewriting in general. I believe that reworking an original piece makes it shine. Unless muses descend from the skies, a first draft will most often be lacking in polish. The creative process requires an editorial step, regardless of whether the artist is playing with paint, with movement or with words.

I had in fact edited every single blog post thus far... except for the one that brought this conundrum about.

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