Jun 18, 2010

Writing With The Door Open

The open door!

Ok, in the last post I talked about writing with the door closed – bliss, painless, no judgement from anyone – not even your inner critique, if you’re very lucky.

With the door closed, your work is not open to an onslaught of the judgment from your critiques. But in the second draft, you are preparing to show your manuscript to whomever will be critiquing it, therefore the second draft needs to be written with the door open.

The magnificent book, “On Writing” by Stephen King, describes writing the first draft with the door closed and the second with the door open brilliantly. If you haven’t read that book I highly recommend you do. In an ideal world it should be compulsory for anyone putting pen to paper or finger to keypad to study that Stephen's book.

Opening that door can be a painful process. Opening the door means that you, the author, are open to criticism. Opening that door means many great lines will be slaughtered by the delete button. Lines that you thought were brilliant in the first draft suddenly wither beneath the scrutiny of the second draft.

And if they don’t disappear with the help of the delete button, you can be sure that they will after you receive some critiquing process.

At the end of the day, if you are serious about being published, then you are going to have to write the second draft with the door open and know that in time you must hand your baby over to the critiques, no matter who they are.

It is said that to write a book one must have determination for the First draft. An eye for detail in the 2nd. True creativity in the 3rd. Ability to distance yourself in the 4th. And last, but by no means least – a bloody thick skin for the 5th.

And that’s if you’re lucky enough to get there in just 5 drafts.

To conclude then – there comes a time one must open the door and just let go.

With a smile

Ita x


  1. On writing is a great book, and I agree, growing that thick skin as I write!

  2. Hi There
    Yes it takes a while to toughen up, but we are all in the one boat so to speak.
    Thanks for the comment
    Stay in touch
    With a smile