Writing Tips

Why You Should Stop Worrying About Your 1st Draft—AKA Your Ugly Duckling

You could say that first drafts are shit. Which they are, but there are better ways to describe them. Ones that will not make you think of feces or another meaning of shit, which is garbage or worthless. Trust me your draft is NOT a pile of shit and it is NOT worthless.

First drafts are important. You can’t write a book without one. If anything they are like an ugly ducking. It’s fucking hideous, but with time it can blossom into something beautiful and promising. And that sounds way better.

Needless to say, you’re not going to get there if you keep trying to perfect your work too soon. You might just be shooting yourself in the foot. Here are a few reasons why you should stop.

1. Nothing is Set in Stone

First and foremost. Your first draft is just that—a DRAFT. It’s not the final copy. You have plenty of time to edit and rewrite it if you need to. So let it be.

More than likely you’ll end up changing your mind about certain parts in your story anyway. So why waste time trying to make it good the first time?

Not to mention, your writing will get better over time, so those sentences you spent so long perfecting the first time around will inevitably be changed or deleted.

2. It Will Take You Longer to Finish

If you constantly try to fix your writing, you’ll take much longer to finish the first draft. There is an exception for some people, who can edit as they write, but if you’re not one of them…


You’re going to have to edit regardless. It’s better to let it rest and come back later, so you can notice mistakes you missed. Let me tell you. I’ve gone through several drafts of my WIP and I still find things wrong.

Just write. Get the first draft out. Because if you don’t…

3. You Might Never Finish

It’s the hard truth. If you constantly go back and edit it will take you longer to finish and you will feel unaccomplished. You might not move forward because you’re never happy with your work. Thus you will get discouraged and might just give up all together. You have to fight the urge to edit.

If you actually finish the first draft you will feel great knowing you wrote a book. It isn’t the best thing now, but at least it’s done.

4. No One Cares But You

I understand. It sucks to have to leave your work a mess. It’s fucking embarrassing, but guess what? No one else is reading it. You’re the only one who even cares about it. That is pretty sad, but hey, at least you don’t have to show it to anyone.

If anything you should laugh at your old work. You might feel a bit like a moron for what you wrote, but that’s okay. You’re already improving.

5. You’re Only Hurting Yourself

It can be scary to write a first draft. You’re afraid it won’t be good enough, afraid it won’t turn out as you thought it would even after countless hours of editing, or afraid you’re going to have to make large changes, which can be the case.

Honestly, it shouldn’t be that daunting to write the first draft. You want to know why? Because it’s one of the few times you can make mistake after mistake and that’s okay.

Editing takes much more work than the first draft.

If you are only staring at a blank page, what are you so scared of anyway? Of failure? Guess what? You already failed because you have nothing. If you want to write a book so badly, you would do it regardless.

Step out of your comfort zone and write that damn book!

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