In Praise of Shitty First Drafts

When I don’t know exactly what I want to say I find my best writing comes by starting out with a shitty first draft. By shitty first draft I don’t mean subpar writing, I mean something terrible enough that I feel like I am throwing up words out of my hands. If the first draft is alright then I end up not making it as good in the end, because I am too afraid I’ll mess up what I have while editing; but to improve your writing you can’t be afraid. The first step is to not erase anything, just get all the thoughts out, no matter how scrambled; knowing that you will fix it up later. Write a stupid joke, swear, type gibberish; it doesn’t matter as long as you are letting loose. The second step is to edit, and boy is it going to need a lot of editing. If I haven’t reread what I wrote 30 times before finishing then there is no way it was shitty enough at the beginning and no way it ends as well as I want it to. Writing takes time, it takes effort, and it takes vulnerability to allow yourself to let the words flow out.

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