“Books and stories aren’t written11they are rewritten.” ~Barnaby Conrad
You finally start writing. You are underway and when you finish you realize you have a mess on your hands.
The words are unpolished, your grammar is awful, your story doesn’t make sense.
Your sentences run on for days. Your organization is confusing and would make a reader’s head spin.
Most writers will agree that first drafts are necessary, are often horrible and are part of the process.
Yet for most of us when we write there is part of us that is uncomfortable with the messiness and wishes our writing would come out perfectly the first time.
When you realize your draft is a mess it can feel discouraging. You have a lot of work to do and are already tired from writing so much.
Noticing the traits that a horrible first draft reveals about you can help you through discouragement. Reminding ourselves about these traits helps us build momentum to rock the project forward.
What a horrible first draft reveals about you:
You Are Courageous
Taking a leap of fate into the messy world of ideas takes guts.
The world of ideas is the world of the unknown. The world we may have thought about, outlined or dreamed of but when you get there it is full of surprises.
It takes courage to accept the invitation to write. It takes courage to sit down and actually do it.
It takes courage to surrender and to allow your work to flow. This means letting your guard down, it means jumping head first into something you don’t know the outcome of.
You Are Honest
When you have a horrible first draft you are being honest with yourself, your process and and creativity.
You have let go of rules, you have spoken from the heart and you have let your critical mind take the bench for a while.
Your draft is a snapshot of the chaos that order will come from.
Honesty comes from being true to you voice and process. It is being honest with ourselves and what is coming from us.
You Are In The Flow
When your draft is horrible it means that you have really dived in.
You have hit that magic moment of being in the flow. Words pour out unexpectedly and with life. You have tapped into creativity that doesn’t abide by logic.
This is the creative flow that happens when we dream, when our minds wander. It’s the flow of thoughts and images that appear when we listen to a beautiful piece of music.
Your draft reflects pure and potent creativity.
It reflects the inner world that is your own and also connected to others, history and ancient myth-tellers. You have tapped into awesome wisdom and brought it forward through your ideas, energy and words.
You Are On Your Way
Your work is beautifully raw, chaotic and anxiously waiting to be molded, formed and polished.
Your material is there. Now you have to let it percolate, let your ideas become clearer.
You have already conquered the most difficult part–sitting down and actually writing.
Now you get to love on your work, you get to allow the constructive editor to come out to play.
You are on your way to finding new ideas, to come into better relationship with your work and yourself.
You are on your way to having work that is accessible to others and is built on the foundation of your honesty, courage and creativity.