New Australian research conducted by consultants Ernest & Young found the average employee wastes 50 minutes a day on work that will either be binned or not used.
It obviously goes to show they didn’t survey many writers.
After a full writing day I might have 8,000 words. I’ll be ecstatic if I can salvage 2,000 of those. At the end of the first draft there might be 750 left and in the final draft I could be lucky and keep a phrase I like or even a whole sentence.
I’m not game to do the sums to find out how much time I would be seen as wasting. Obviously it would be shockingly high.
For me writing is a process of exploration, with false starts, dead ends, blind alleys, and also perseverance – above all, perseverance. It involves searching, observing, examining, and all the time, writing. Writing to record, to probe, to analyse, to experiment, to understand, to imagine.
It’s then a matter of laying out the copious amounts of writing, recognising the good leads and putting aside the rest. And I’m off writing again, to shape my ideas, to hone in on exactly what it is I’m trying to say, and to select the words that will express the final work in the most precise and luminous way
Without all that work I can’t get at the deeper meaning of what I write.
Without it, I wouldn’t have anything worth reading.