You have an idea. You start writing. Things are going great. You’re filling up page after page and then something happens. You get stuck. A problem that you can’t solve. A character who comes across as flat and you don’t know how to fix them. A plot hole appears out of nowhere and you can’t fill it. The writing slows. The initial will is fading. One day nothing comes. The well is dry. You’re struggling in quicksand and you don’t know how to get out. Soon it becomes easier not to write at all. Before you know it, two weeks have gone by. And then two more. And then it’s been a month and your draft is unfinished in a drawer.
You may have expected the first draft to be a magical experience. You expected that momentum would carry you through from the first word to the last. Sometimes that does happen, but more often than not momentum is short lived. You’re going to have to work to finish that draft.
I call the first draft The DO Draft. That means, you just have to do it. You leave plot holes where they lie, you let characters be one dimensional, you write in point point when you have to. You do anything to get to the end. Getting to the end is important.
Because the first draft, is just that. The first. There are many more to come. It doesn’t matter if the writing is ugly or messy or imperfect. Love that messy imperfect writing. Because it’s better than no writing at all. Once the words are on the page you have something to work with. Once you have a finished draft, you can move forward. The writing process must move forward in order to succeed.
So get it done. Do it.