shitty first drafts

What writing blog is complete without a post entitled “shitty first drafts”? Seriously, Google that phrase. You’ll be alarmed at how many blogs immediately pop up.

All writers apparently understand the concept. You know why? Because it is nearly universally true.

Once in a great long while you’ll write something and the words will simply flow. Draft 1 will be the only draft you’ll ever need. Each word will dance its way into the current of your prose with the grace and elegance of a summer storm rolling in. It will be strong, purposeful, artful, beautiful, compelling and complete, all from the first iteration.

If you’re lucky, you’ll experience this at least once as a writer. If you’re lucky.

However, most of us write first drafts that make us question why we even bothered to turn the computer on. “This…this…this shit isn’t worth the electricity needed to power up the monitor,” we’ll say to ourselves, and we’ll be right. Because most things, great works and soon-forgotten pop-novels alike, begin as shitty first drafts.

There is absolutely nothing original in that observation or in this conclusion, but every writer needs to hear this now and then–don’t let a shitty first draft keep you from the second draft. Keep writing. Keep working at it. Keep going.

When the shit clears, you might just be left with something worth reading, but you’ll never know if you give up before you’ve gotten there.

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About Ash Martin
Ash Martin writes dark fantasy and horror, has a thing for classic monster legends, Nordic mythology, coffee, and sarcasm, and is currently working on multiple books.

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