I’ve been thinking a lot about first drafts lately. See, I’ve been working on the first draft of my first book for awhile now. I know the story. I like the story. I know the people in it and the beginning and the end and most of the stuff that comes between. But I’m having the darndest time just getting the draft done. Why? Because I’m a perfectionist. I’m not happy unless every word comes out perfect the first time. Sound crazy? Yeah, I know. I have issues.
Maybe I need my attitude tweaked a bit. Instead of always focusing on the stuff that bugs me, I should start loving all those little (or big) imperfections that pop up in my first drafts. Stories are kind of like children. They may come out with pimples and snaggle teeth and a million cowlicks, but we love them anyway, because they’re ours.
I’m slowly learning to love my spoiled, bratty, impudent first drafts who roll their eyes at me and refuse to clean their rooms. They’re mine. They could only have come from me. Braces, noxzema, boot camp – that’s what revision is for. Until then, let those first drafts come the way they are. Let them just be.
Originally posted August 30, 2010