Musings on The Critical Importance of Your First Draft

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Have you ever been told by a publisher or an editor that your first draft is worthless, or worse, that it is crap? Have you ever felt yourself that your first draft is absolutely futile?

Procrastination, self-doubt, lack of confidence or no confidence at all and giving up, are realities that every writer has to deal with, at least once in a lifetime if not more. Contrary to what you may believe or what you may be told by others, your first draft is actually the most important accomplishment as a writer.

Let us put things into perspective.

• What is the first thing that you do as a writer, or what happens naturally? Dreaming, imagination or toying with an idea in your head, that’s the first step.

• What’s the obvious next step? Penning down the thoughts or ideas into notes or in whatever form you wish to put them down.

• What’s the third step? Writing the first draft is.

If you don’t write the first draft, how would you know what you can write? How would you know if your ideas, thoughts or dreams can be transformed into something worthwhile? How would you get a chance to write a novel, novella, short story, poem or even an article eventually if you don’t begin with the first draft? The first draft sets everything in motion. If you think that your first draft is crap or if you are told that it is worthless, and if that prevents you from writing then you will never head anywhere as a writer. You will not accomplish anything as a writer.

First Drafts Are Never Perfect, For Most Writers

First drafts are not meant to be perfect. But they are the best foundation to build on. All your notes, thoughts, ideas and dreams are sporadic, unsorted and they are not yet in any tangible form. You have to manifest them into your first draft. When you have a first draft, you have the foundation and the building blocks of the novel are the processes of revision, rethinking, editing and all those exercises which have been standardized in the publishing industry.

Some writers, albeit a rarity, can come up with perfect first drafts. The rest have to toil through the rigors of rewriting to make their work perfect. Don’t believe that your first draft is futile, as without it there is no next step.

There’s a wise saying: a great writer is either a great first drafter or a great re-writer. We Always encourage your comments. Please add them below.

Image by Ocus Focus from Bigstockphoto

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About Al Bargen (89 Articles)
Al is known as the Fit Martial Writer. He's the operations manager at http://WritersRise.com and is also a fat loss and martial arts coach.
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