Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of a thing till you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln’s Melancholy I thought, ‘Oh shit, now I get the shape of this.’ But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly. – Joshua Wolf shenk