Five Great Quotations about Drafting

“You write that first draft really to see how it’s going to come out.” – James A. Michener

“The first draft of anything is shit.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Only ambitious nonentities and hearty mediocrities exhibit their rough drafts. It’s like passing around samples of sputum.” – Vladimir Nabokov

“Writers get embarrassed sometimes in talking about how much fun writing can be, but drafting is often really enjoyable. Often, you’re tumbling in the dark, and you don’t know where the story is going to lead.” – Karen Russell

“After finishing a draft, no matter how rough, I almost always put it aside for a while. It doesn’t matter if it’s a story or a novel, I find that when it’s still fresh in my mind I’m either thoroughly sick of its flaws or completely blind to them. Either way, I’m unable to make substantive edits of any value.” – Leslie Jamison