Author Hunter Thompson once retyped The Great Gatsby just to feel what it was like to write a great novel. This fact is often lauded as a demonstration of his commitment to the craft and his desire for excellence.
I can’t imagine a stupider way to spend your time.
Want to write a great novel?
Try writing one. Then try again and again and again.
Thompson did this, of course (and with great success, in my opinion), but perhaps if he hadn’t spent so much time doing what amounted to a popular form of punishments from my childhood (copying definitions from the dictionary), he would’ve had time to write one more story.
Or spent a little more time polishing one of his manuscripts.
I have far too many stories to tell to spend a moment retyping someone else’s story.
Frankly, I doubt that Thompson even did this ridiculous exercise. It’s the kind of story that a great writer like Thompson would make up, knowing its inherent appeal to the general public.
I hope he made it up.