Writing a First Draft

Writing is easy. You only need to stare at a piece of blank paper until your forehead bleeds.

– Douglas Adams

There’s only one way to write a first draft. Step 1: Sit down. Step 2: Write.

I can already hear you screaming, “But it’s not that easy!” Oh, wait. That’s me.

When Emerald Barnes approached me earlier this week and asked if I would write a guest post for her blog, Dreaming Awake, I was incredibly honoured and excited. But what to write? Since Laura Stanfill recently wrote a guest post about revisions, it made sense (in a backwards kind of way) that I should put together a post about writing a first draft.

It went something like this:

There’s only one way to write a first draft. Step 1: Sit down. Step 2: Write.

Hmmm… I thought. Emerald may have been wanting something a little more… wordy.

So I thought about it a little more, and remembered something a non-writer friend asked me a few years ago. I’d been explaining how important it is to just write, without editing, second-guessing, or correcting anything during a first draft. She looked at me seriously and asked, “Why would you bother spending so much time on it if you’re just going to write it badly?”

So please, pop on over to Dreaming Awake today, where I answer that question in my guest post, The First Draft: Five Good Reasons to Write it Badly.

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8 Comments

Filed under Writing

8 responses to “Writing a First Draft

  1. “Since Laura Stanfill recently wrote a guest post about revisions, it made sense (in a backwards kind of way) that I should put together a post about writing a first draft.”

    Ha. I thought the same thing when we discussed it. It was kind of backwards logic, but it worked out nicely! 🙂

    Thanks again for participating, Jo.

  2. All very good reasons to write badly. Cranking out a quick, shoddy, fun first draft is something I’ve often heard about but only recently tried. I think it really has improved my writing. Thanks for the advice!

    • Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 Once upon a time, I was happy to write a down and dirty first draft, but after my friend asked that question, I started doubting that it was the “best way”. I’ve only recently returned to the your-first-draft-doesn’t-need-to-be-perfect camp, and am actually enjoying my writing again.

  3. I did not read your guest post yet, but to sit down and write is a good enough way for me. Sometimes I just ponder about what to write and never get to it. You have to just start and see where it takes you.

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