January 13

Writing – The Horrors of a First Draft


Good Morning,

Yes, submitting your first draft to an editor can be a self-imposed nightmare.

I just submitted a first draft (first for him – third for me) to Bob Bly for an e-book we are working on. There are some good parts in the book and a couple that are just not what I want.

The horror part is that Bob and I wanted the first draft done before Christmas. I have been holding on to it because of the parts I don’t like. Do you see where this is going?

Think of a truck stuck in the mud with its wheels spinning.

If any one of us were driving the truck, we’d have sense enough to use a winch, get some help or put something under the tires for traction. When it comes to writing, you would think I’d know better than to keep wallowing around and just get the draft off to my editor so he can lend me a hand. Right?

Yea. And I never eat two desserts or spit in public.

The most important thing to remember about your first draft is that it is a FIRST draft. You’re supposed to make changes.

Being afraid of the impression your first draft will make is normal. At least it’s normal for me, and I know two other writers who feel the same way. We always think people will believe we’ve lost our “touch” when the read a first draft.

The ironic thing is that our editors have always seen our first drafts. For some irrational, artistic-ego reason, we forget that the biggest part of why editors like our writing is because they know we’ll take their suggestions and end up with something ten times better than the first draft.

I think we might all be the same in this. I hope it helps you to know that. Maybe knowing that we all get at least a little scared every time a first draft is submitted will make it just a little easier to gather our courage and make the submission.



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