«I can’t remember who said that writing a story is like cleaning a kitchen floor: you begin with one small square of tile, which you sweep to its borders, making sure you’ve removed every speck of dirt. After that, you scrub the square with a wet cloth, treating the deeper stains. Then you buff it dry. Then you move on to the next square and repeat the process. When you’ve finished with the second square, you return to the first to see if it needs any additional attention. And so you continue, square by square, until you’ve cleaned the entire kitchen floor.
The idea here is that people will object, “But that’s not how you clean a kitchen floor at all — first you sweep the whole thing, then you mop the whole thing, and then, finally, if you have to, you return to the spots that need additional work,” and you can say: “Which is how writing a story works, too. You’ll never achieve anything unless you attack the whole of it in one go and address the small problems later.”
Kevin Brockmeier ao New York Times, via Bibliotecário de Babel.