A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
Thankscaking (Thanksgiving + cake) (11/25)
“If it burns, it earns” (11/25)
Two Left Feet (clumsy at dancing) (11/25)
“Studying—notice how they conveniently put ‘dying’ at the end of this word” (11/24)
“The only person telling you the truth in politics is the one who says he is not voting for you” (11/24)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from July 04, 2014
“The first draft of anything is shit”

Arnold Samuelson, a young aspiring writer from North Dakota, met up with his idol, American author Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), in Key West in 1934. Samuelson became Hemingway’s “boat boy” for 10 months, getting paid $1 a day as Hemingway taught him about writing. Samuelson (quoting Hemingway) wrote in With Hemingway: A Year in Key West and Cuba (1984):

“Don’t get discouraged because there’s a lot of mechanical work to writing. . . I rewrote the first part of A Farewell to Arms at least fifty times. ... The first draft of anything is shit. When you first start to write you get all the kick and the reader gets none, but after you learn to work it’s your object to convey everything to the reader so that he remembers it not as a story he has read but something that has happened to himself. That’s the true test of writing. When you can do that, the reader gets the kick and you don’t get any. You just get hard work and the better you write the harder it is because every story has to be better than the last one. It’s the hardest work there is.”

“The first draft of anything is shit” became a popular line with all writers.


Wikipedia: Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works. Additional works, including three novels, four short story collections, and three non-fiction works, were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.

OCLC WorldCat record
With Hemingway : a year in Key West and Cuba
Author: Arnold Samuelson
Publisher: New York : Random House, ©1984.
Edition/Format: Book : Biography : English : 1st ed
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
Presents a portrait of Hemingway as seen through the eyes of a Midwestern farm boy living with the family and fishing, talking, and writing with Hemingway.

Google Books
Esquire: The Magazine for Men
Volume 103
1985
Pg. ?:
Don’t get discouraged because there’s a lot of mechanical work to writing. . . I rewrote the first part of A Farewell to Arms at least fifty times. ... The first draft of anything is shit. When you first start to write you get all the kick and the reader gets none, but after you learn to work it’s your object to convey everything to the reader so that he remembers it not as a story he has read but something that has happened to himself. That’s the true test of writing. When you can do that, the reader gets the kick and you don’t get any. You just get hard work and the better you write the harder it is because every story has to be better than the last one. It’s the hardest work there is.

Google Books
Words of Wisdom
Edited by William Safire and Leonard Safir
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
1989
Pg. 222:
Don’t get discouraged because there’s a lot of mechanical work to writing. . . I rewrote the first part of A Farewell to Arms at least fifty times. ... The first draft of anything is shit. When you first start to write you get all the kick and the reader gets none, but after you learn to work it’s your object to convey everything to the reader so that he remembers it not as a story he has read but something that has happened to himself. That’s the true test of writing.
-- Ernest Hemingway

Muse by Erika Robuck
With Hemingway: A Year in Key West & Cuba
November 23, 2009 at 9:50 pm
(...)
Below, I’ve included some quotes from the book that I found particularly interesting or helpful.  With Hemingway is out of print, but if you’re an EH aficionado, you can order it used from many online retailers.
* * *
“The first draft of anything is shit.” p. 11

Google Books
The Bathonians
By Richard Paul Skinner
Lulu.com
2012
Pg. 55:
So I decided to be totally honest and allow her to see this first draft, something I had never done before, aware of Hemingway’s dictum: ‘The first draft of anything is shit’

Twitter
darlene eliopoulos
‏@darlydar
RT @screencrafting: “The first draft of anything is CRAP, but it’s infinitely better than NO draft.” #scriptchat pic.twitter.com/Ga4TQpwjNf
8:15 PM - 29 May 2014

Twitter
Catherine Russell
‏@ganymeder
My favorite writing quote, and a philosophy I live by! rasberry >RT @BookBuzzr: “The first draft of anything is shit.” - Ernest Hemingway #quote
9:07 AM - 2 Jul 2014

Twitter
eric fitzpatrick
‏@ericfitz7
Tip 25: Hemmingway said “The first draft of anything is rubbish” Rewriting your presentation will improve it’s flow and clarity of message.
8:30 AM - 5 Jul 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Friday, July 04, 2014 • Permalink