Thursday, January 2, 2014

The First Draft: It Sucks

Now that's we've talked about some of the pre-writing basics, discovering why and what you write, figuring out where and when you'll write, as well as setting achievable writing goals. We can now move on to the actual writing.

Everything starts with the first draft. I don't care if you outline or not. If you meticulously plan every moment of your story/essay/whatever you write or if you just pull crap out of your head and throw it on the page. No matter what you do, your first draft is going to be god awful. A poopy diaper is going to look better than your first draft. This is a proven fact. I have seen many poopy diapers and many first drafts. The diapers caused me less pain.

As a writer, you need to accept this. Embrace the fact that the first draft is going to be terrible. Seriously, give it a hug.* You'll feel better. The sooner you acknowledge that your initial word vomit is going to be that, word vomit, the sooner you can move on to finishing the first draft and then going back and fixing it.

Because the second most important thing about first drafts is that you have to finish it. No matter how horrid it is and how much you hate it by the end, you have to finish that thing. If you never finish that first draft you'll never know how awesome it could be. And you'll also never learn.

You'll learn more about writing by completing the first draft than you can learn in every creative writing class on the planet. You can read every text book, study every grammar manual and you'll still learn the most by writing and finishing what you write.

So go forth dear Reader/Writer and pour your soul on to the page. Crack open your head and just plop your brain down on your project like an egg onto a skillet. Because until you write those first words down, you can't really call your self a Writer, now can you?

Thanks for reading! Please comment and/or share this if you liked it. And Happy New Year, may it bring you awesome plot bunnies and lots of writing motivation.

*I feel I should note that I got Chuck Wendig's new book The Kick Ass Writer, for Christmas, so if my writing style seems to emulate his today, I'm sorry. BTW, it's an awesome book and he's smarter than me, so you should read it too.