Words on a Page Writings about writing

Your first draft is just the start

An electronic typewriter in action

Over the last few years, I’ve met several people who are trying to kick start writing career. If not that, then trying to improve as writers.

The problem is that, for the most part, they’re running in place. They have ideas and ability, but they never finish what they start. They rarely, if ever, get in a first draft.

They continually wrestle with the demon of perfectionism. They believe that what they write has to be the final product the first time around.

Maybe you’re of the same mind. Maybe you’re stuck with the idea that the first draft needs to be perfect.

It doesn’t. Your first draft is just the start.

Your first draft is where you get the skeleton, and a bit of flesh, of what you want to write on screen. It’s where you create the structure of what you’re writing. It’s where you start. It’s definitely not the end.

Once you have a first draft, that’s when the real work begins. Once you have a first draft, you build on it. You add detail. You refine the language. You tweak (or more than tweak) the structure.

Yes, that is a lot of work. But if you’re serious about writing (and not just being a writer), then you’ll do the work. You’ll embrace the struggle. You’ll cast off the chains of perfectionism and finish what you start.

If you find yourself struggling to finish the first draft, remember this tweet from Steven Vaughan-Nicols:

A crappy first draft is worth more than a non-existent one

Thoughts? Let's start a conversation on Twitter.

Did you enjoy this post or find it useful? Then please consider supporting this blog with a micropayment via PayPal. Thanks!