Senior Paul Laudiero spends lots of time writing – and rewriting. “I’m an English major, so I write a ton,” Laudiero said. “And most of what gets onto paper is shit.”
This February, Laudiero realized that he was not alone, that even famous writers must struggle with a series of drafts before the final masterpiece.
Starting with his favorites and moving on to the classics and more popular works, Laudiero drafts up what he images the author went through in crafting the perfect title, dialogue or scene.
To date, he has picked on everyone from J.K. Rowling to George Orwell, even creating a mock version of the rough drafts of the Ten Commandments, by God.
The site quickly rose to popularity, with some of his posts receiving thousands of notes and shares on the blogging site.
Then, after a positive review on Huffington Post, Laudiero saw a dramatic increase in page visits and interest. “They tweeted at me a week after I started the tumblr, asking if they could do an article on it,” said Laudiero. “I tweeted back. Immediately.”
Laudiero entered the blog into a book competition that publishing company Chronicle Books was hosting in collaboration with Tumblr.
Two roads diverged in the wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by, and I have been lost for forty-five minutes.
From shitroughdrafts, based on “The Road Not Taken”, by Robert Frost. 1916.
The contest searched for a humorous Tumblr that could potentially be turned into a book.
Out of 175 entires, Laudiero won the first place prize, which included the book deal, $300 worth of Chronicle books, a featured Tumblr post and feedback from publishers and authors.
The “Shit Rough Drafts” manuscript is due by July and is set to be released by summer 2014.
Laudiero had been active on Tumblr for a year before hitting big success with “Shit Rough Drafts”.
His personal account, paullaudiero.tumblr.com features more personal content and comedic writing.
Laudiero is moving to New York City this summer to continue an internship at a comedy club.
At 22, Laudiero says that this book deal and Tumblr compilation is his dream job.
He encourages others with aspirations of Tumblr fame and book deal dreams to keep trying. “Write every day,” Laudiero said. “And realize that most of what you’ll post is shit. But that it’s part of the process.”