As I struggled over my current project, pondering and editing as I went along, I asked a writing friend for her input. “I’m still working on the first part,” I moaned. “I just can’t seem to get it right.”
“Why are you even rereading it?” my writing friend asked. “Concentrate on getting the first draft done. You can clean it up and polish it on the next draft.”
I cast an icy stare her way. “On this particular project, I need to have the beginning fixed before I can go on to the rest of the draft,” I informed her.
She stared right back. “Not according to what you tell everyone else.”
I hate it when someone brings it to my attention that I’m not following my own oft-imparted pearls of writing wisdom. My friend is correct. I always have three things to say about the first draft. Make that four things:
- “Don’t stop to ponder the words, or the structure of your sentences and paragraphs. Just write.”
- “Don’t go back and edit. Get that skeleton of your book down. You can flesh it out in your next draft.”
- “Don’t ask so many people for their opinions or you will keep rewriting and rewriting until you are so sick of the book that you’ll set it aside and never get it done.”
- “Get busy and write!”
Yep, those are my words, all right. And I must say, it’s pretty good advice. I think, just this once, I should listen to me!
“I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”