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Give In To The Bad First Draft

It's going to be bad so embrace it

By Elise L. BlakePublished about a month ago 3 min read
Give In To The Bad First Draft
Photo by OCG Saving The Ocean on Unsplash

First drafts are made to suck as much as the first of most things. 

The first time you danced you didn't know all the steps. 

The first time you sang a song you didn't know all the words. 

The first time you write a draft you don't know the whole story. 

You can spend an entire year outlining your novel and I guarantee that when the time comes to write it you are still going to add things in when you are writing it up that you had never thought of until that first moment. 

A first draft should always only be called a rough draft because that's exactly what it is. A rough telling of the story as you see it in your head the first time around.

But as it begins to take on life it grows, transforms, takes different paths, grows new wings, and takes on a life of its own in some of the best ways.

Any writer who looks down at their first draft and thinks that they are not meant to write because wow - look how terrible that draft is, is a writer that needs to take a deep breath and be reminded that no book they have ever read in their entire life was published at the first draft stage.

Just like how most of us go through that awkward teenage stage your novel is going to go through an ugly book stage. 

It's going to have plot holes, dialogue that runs for two pages long, broken sentences, and a whole mess of other things.

But as long as you didn't write your book by carving each letter into stone - it's all fixable. 

You can take that first draft and add or take away as much of it as you need to turn it into the novel that you see in your head. 

But you can't if you spend too much time worrying about it in its ugly stage. 

Embrace the ugly first draft. Embrace all the things in that draft that need to be fixed because guess what?

In having a finished draft ready to fix - you are already ahead of 90% of writers who set out to write a book, but never finish the first draft. 

Accept the imperfection of the first draft and silence that voice inside of you that may be criticizing it based on what it thinks a finished book should be. 

It's not a finished book so it shouldn't be anything like one. 

It will be someday. 

Celebrate the progress of writing, every word you write, and every page you fill is one step closer to the final stage. 

Let your draft be bad. 

Let it be the first of many steps in crafting a wonderful book. 

Best of luck! 

With love, 

B. xo xo


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This story was originally posted on Medium.

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About the Creator

Elise L. Blake

Elise is a full-time writing coach and novelist. She is a recent college graduate from Southern New Hampshire University where she earned her BA in Creative Writing.

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Comments (3)

  • SW28 days ago

    Love wabi sabi. Why not with writings? Thank you for spreading words and letting them fall organically.

  • Mark Grahamabout a month ago

    You are the most encouraging writer I have ever read. I do have a half novel about a dog named Bernard who is a St. Bernard. I started this 'novel' many years ago and still have a handwritten copy and I even have some here in Drafts. One day it will be a children's novel.

  • Kendall Defoe about a month ago

    I still have friends who refuse to write unless they spin gold the first time out. I keep telling them that the first time I wrote, played the guitar, or even went running in the park, I was awful... I just did not give up. People need to hear this message... I thank you...

Elise L. BlakeWritten by Elise L. Blake

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