get it down

Bad But Good

I have to tell myself this all the time. First drafts are almost always riddled with holes, flaws and problems. So much so that when you finish one and immediately read over it–something we all do–it’s hard not to clamor for the delete key. Surely that thing you just wrote is so bad it’ll infect your other (moderately) better pieces. Like a gangrenous limb, you want to cut it off.

It’s natural to feel that way. One, you’re probably more critical of your own stuff than is warranted. But, two, if it’s a first draft, yeah, it’s probably not the best thing you’ve ever written.

That’s okay. Get it out. Take chances.

Don’t allow your inner critical voice to keep you from being a risk-taker. Don’t let that internal nay-sayer stop you from writing. You don’t seriously think the first draft of your favorite books were anything like the finished products, do you? Because they weren’t. No one writes beautiful, flowing, artful first drafts. No one. And if you want that second, third or fourth draft to be good, you have to take chances while you’re writing the first draft.

It takes courage. More courage than you might think. Some of your ideas are going to sound crazy, even to you. Don’t worry about it. Go with them. Go with the story. Give your muse enough room to work in. Get it all down. All of it.

It’s the only way you can do anything really good.


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.

4 Responses to get it down

  1. So true! Thanks for the reminder.


  2. My first drafts are downright embarrassing, but that’s what inspires me to work on them! Good reminder.


    • dex says:

      Me, too. Working on my first two books, one of which is a novel, I have to remind myself constantly that this is a first draft. Things are going to be off–sometimes by a lot–and that’s okay.


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