Your First Draft Is Your Best Draft?

One of the things that causes writer’s block, that can plague writers to death, that can make a writer stick their work in a drawer never to be seen again is this belief:

Your first draft is your best draft.

No, no, no. Again no. A thousand times no. 

When you think you have to do your best writing all the time, that’s a lot of pressure. If every time you sit down to write your first thought is this has to be perfect, what happens when the writing is not perfect?

Do you stop writing? Do you give up? Do you decide you’re a horrible writer?

creative_color_pencil_02_hd_picture

As you work on that first draft, problems are going to crop up. It’s inevitable because you won’t have the story fully mapped out from the very beginning. You won’t fully know your characters. Questions will occur. So what do you do when you encounter a snag with the story?

Do you stop writing? Do you give up? Do you decide you’re a horrible writer?

I hope the answer is no for both situations. You have to keep going, keep writing and accept at times that the writing is not what you want it to be. That you don’t have all the answers. 

That your first draft is not your best.

And the only way to solve that problem is to keep writing.

The first draft is merely that number. The first. With more to come. That can be overwhelming for some writers – What do you mean I have to keep writing. I got to the end. I’m done.

The first draft provides the frame. It’s the hanger you’re going to put the clothes on. It’s the room painted white. The first draft will give you the bones. It’s the work you do after the first draft that really counts. That’s where you make it pretty and shiny and vivid. And that’s why we need a first draft. But it’s only the beginning.