I had this advice from a friend. She said there is such a huge difference between creating something quickly and creating something good. But creating something good only happens if you create something quickly, because then what you do is you rewrite the thing you created quickly to make it something good. It is like making a zombie and then making it alive. If you’ve ever wondered why the first draft is so horrible, that’s why.
I loved this idea of making a zombie first. It really does explain a lot. And that’s only if you create an entire first draft. If you make an incomplete first draft, then it’s more like making an arm or torso. That’s worse than a zombie. That’s something that sits in your drawer or your computer whispering ‘Kill me.’ Then you have to hum loudly to block it out, or put a pillow over it or something, so you don’t listen to it. If you listen to it you might just say ‘Ok’ and delete the whole file. What a waste.
Mary Shelley was wrong. You don’t animate a corpse with a massive whack of electricity; there’s no such thing as genius or inspiration. What you do is you go over every little bit of skin and you rewrite it until it’s warm and alive and there’s red blood running all through it. Then you know you’ve made a beautiful animal.
I have a lot of zombies sitting around right now. They make a lot of ghastly noise but it’s sort of all right. It’s almost nice.