Drafting the First Draft of Drafting (a Draft)

The blank page. The blinking cursor. It’s judging you, you know. With every blink, it judges you for not typing. Or at least, that’s what every writer thinks. Okay so it’s what I think, stop looking at me that way!

There is a thing to be said about creating a tricking mechanism to get yourself writing. I’ve heard a technique where you prep everything on your computer, ready for writing, leave the room and do something else, only to come back to your writing area and surprise attack it with a flurry of words. Or something. I find that a really funny idea, but whatever gets you to write, then do it, man!

The important thing to remember is that when you are doing your first draft, is to remind yourself that it’s not going to be perfection. Most times, your first idea will be horrible anyway, and you’ll toss it in the garbage, especially if you were aiming for perfection on the first go around. You really should shoot for imperfection, because that’s really where the genius comes. You might be inspired to go in a completely different direction than you originally planned, and it might take you somewhere that is really new! “Perfection” is a lie… and a trap. A trap lie! When you aim to be perfect, you won’t have fun, and it will show in your writing. Things can always be revised and rewritten. You are not married to your first draft. In fact, when writing and comparing your first and last draft, they should be vastly different beasts. If not, you end up with things like the Phantom Menace, and really no one wants to be there. As a writer, you already have enough pressure to tell a story, but if you are trying to tell a GOOD story and making sure every plot connects and every character is valid in your first draft, you are setting yourself up to be helpless and to just stare at the screen until the screensaver comes on.

Don’t fear the blankness. Look forward to the adventure that awaits you. Your first draft is an anything-goes free-for-all. Don’t be held back by your fears or doubts. No one will see your first draft but you, so who cares how imperfect it is? So hit those keys, spell some words, and say goodbye to the blankness!

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