This rule is practically made to be broken. After all, if you— like
me- dream of publishing your work someday, it's gotta get converted to
digital eventually. No publisher is gonna accept a physical manuscript
unless you're, like, pre~final-episode-premiere—GRRM or similar. Why
create something that, if you were to continue, you'd have to rebuild?
Personally, it's just my method. Even before I started using a type—
writer, I would type my story, print it, and re—type a new document.
This just works for me. If what I wrote was good enough the first time
around, it was good enough to type again. If it wasn't good enough, I
wrote something else. Gradually, my stornies evolved. This method
breakthrough helped me publish my stories. It's how I think and how I
Why do we stress it for the podcast? When I was in grad school, I
wrote a historiography paper on the Beat Generation. I read some 25
books for the project. Onxe of which contained a passage about Jack
Kerouac's habit of writing page after page on his typewriter every night,
then burning his work. Night after night he‘d write, only to burn the
fruit of his labor. Only when he could not bare to take a match to his
prose, to watch the page curl in on itself while the flames consumed it,
did he deem himself a competant writer.
I ain't no Kerouac, and I never will be, but I understand the value of
having a Thing. A story is not a Thing if it's in your computer. It's
an abstraction. It's maleable. Flux. In our current age, it may as
Well be eternal. I can only assume that Google has a trove of deleted
Docs on some server on the West Coast, because why wouldn't they? You
lose control over the digital. (Don't worry, I'm painfully aware that,
although I am writing this on paper, you are reading it digitally. I'd
argue that's a little different, and it's all in the way your mind
processes the information. Someone else's work, presented digitally, is
real. Your work, in the same medium, is an abstraction because you
understand it is imncomplete (how's that for parantheses, Murph? (Bonus:
I know the parentheticals were not necessary. I just did it to hear you
When your work occupies a physical Space, it is real. You must work with
it. It demands your respect. You can't ignore it as an abstraction, a
hypothetical. It's real, on your desk, and you have to choose what to do
with it. If it's crap— and it often is- you have to DO something to
Writing a novel is fun. Feeling the weight of your novel grow, day after
day, is sublime.
So, we made it a rule to write #inktopaper. Preserve your mistakes.
Literally re—write what you love. If you don't like it, burn it. It's
gone, and you don't have to DEAN a harddrive to make sure no one ever
reads it again. And, if that really isn't your thing (or you have terrible
handwriting like Murph (sorry for ragging on you twice now, buddy)), use
a computer. Who's gonna know? Who‘s gonna care? You're writing, and
that the important bit.