Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why You Should Write a First Draft

You don’t want to see the first drafts of most of my posts.

Some of them make no sense -- the by-product of too much caffeine, unfiltered emotion and/or foolhardy inspiration. My first drafts are often nothing more than a brain dump, my fingers just hammering away at a keyboard trying to keep up with my runaway thoughts.

I used to be afraid of writing that first draft. It’s going to sound stupid, I thought. This isn’t going to make sense to anybody. No one is going to like this thing. 

Guess what? That first draft was stupid. Some of them didn't make sense to anyone, including myself. And heck, I don't even like my first drafts.

But that’s the beautiful thing about a first draft; it doesn’t have to be an Ernest Hemingway novel. A first draft is a license to get it all out. It can be total garbage and it's totally okay if it is, because no one will ever see it.

You get to edit that first draft. And then you edit it again. And then you edit some more. Take some stuff out here. Add some stuff there. Change the words around a bit. And then all of a sudden, something beautiful emerges from the heap of trash that it once sat in.

Every great novel, every classic film script, every noteworthy blog post had a crummy first draft. You can’t reach greatness/your goals/awesomeness without one. That first draft is where it all starts.

Always remember: You can never finish something that you never started. So get going. 

You’re first draft is going to be awful. It will be atrocious. Write it anyway.

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