Hemingway on Writing: The First Draft

July 14, 2009

Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning American novelist, Ernest Hemingway, once quipped, “The first draft of anything is shit.” He also wrote, “The shortest answer is doing the thing.”

Combine the two statements, and you have a recipe for writing production and quality work.

Many writers experience writer’s block because they get stuck on the notion of producing a ‘masterpiece’ on the first go. This kind of attitude blocks creativity and stalls many writing careers. The reality is that most writing¬†professionals will go through several drafts before producing first-rate work.

The best strategy is ‘doing the thing.’ Dive in and start writing! Get the story and creative ideas out on paper, then worry about polishing and editing to your content.

Sharif Khan


Freelance Writer, Copywriter, Consultant

Author of “Psychology of the Hero Soul”

(As mentioned in Reader’s Digest, USA Today, Toronto Sun)


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