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I'm a writer, a freelancer, a crafter, a nail polish mixatrix, a tea drinker, an unconventional life-liver, a journaling junkie, an introvert, a chronic-pain-sufferer, an idealist, a geek, a TV-lover. Welcome to my corner of the web!

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday Writing Advice: Remember - first drafts are always lousy

This right here is an early draft of the WWII "Date that will live in infamy" speech. See how much work still needed to be done?

I've been writing since I was eleven, and telling stories before that, I wrote and edited freelance for years, and I tend to think of myself as a long-time writer, as someone who knows how writing works--and I still forget that first drafts suck. See, when you're writing, it's totally normal to think of it as a final product that you're figuring out, and to get wrapped up in the idea that things are as they will always be.

But that's not true, and it's not nice to yourself to think that way, because it puts too much pressure on what you're doing right now.

I keep pictures like these around to remind me that no matter how great something is when the public sees it, it almost always starts out not as good. Even a good first draft has parts that can be fixed, changed, refined, made better, and almost all first drafts aren't really good. They're the first sculpt, where you can see the potential and the shape of it, but they aren't the details yet.

So when things get rough--and they will--just let them be. Skip something if you need to, to get to the next place where you know something needs to happen. And keep reminding yourself: First drafts suck. It's freeing, really, to be allowed to write less than perfect stuff the first time through. And remind yourself: It can always be fixed.

What're your first drafts like? How do you keep from worrying about them?


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