We all have crappy first drafts. Ideas are messy and unkempt. Getting them onto paper, formed into words is what Donald Miller calls “vision” and Peter Drucker calls the “zero draft.”
Often the first finished draft is how writers discover what we actually think. The first draft captures the fleeting, vaporous thoughts that vanish without putting them to paper.
The first draft is for me. Rewriting is for my readers.
Rewriting is the difference between the hobbyist and the artist, between the amateur and the professional.
Rewriting allows me to communicate what I’ve discovered to my readers. I view the writing from a different perspective. Far beyond simple proofreading, rewriting is draft after draft, trying to tell the story well, to speak right to my reader.
I move passages. I read out loud. I delete sentences (a lot!). I develop the idea. I gather supports. I fix grammar. I choose better words. I read backwards. I cut more sentences.
I often share my writing with a friend, a fellow writer, or another professional editor. Their comments hone the message and guide me to better writing.
In time, I have crafted a message to serve the reader.
The writing process is physical, full of motion and sound, not passive and silent. Writing is a skill, a craft to refine.
And the rewrite is the fun part!