Ode to your shitty first draft

Are you a perfectionist?

When you write, perfectionism is both a blessing and a curse.

A blessing because your text gets better when you rigorously sharpen formulations and spot errors.A curse because perfectionism often frustrates the beginning of your writing process.

The beginning of a writing process is almost always messy. For a perfectionist, that’s hard to accept. The result may be that you start late or don’t start at all writing your text.

Therefore, today in the spotlight: the shitty first draft (SFD).

When you allow yourself an SFD, you consciously insert a phase of imperfection.

You write in this phase just to explore lines of thought and formulations.

No one is looking at it.

No one criticizes you if your thoughts are childish, your paragraphs messy, or your sentences clichéd.

You just write. Preferably at a good pace.

Is your SFD finished?

Then you take some distance from your text and start the next writing phase. For example, you can create a new structure plan (bullet list). Or you start with a new version in which you copy a successful passage.

With the shitty first draft you create a first, accessible step in your writing process. So that you can start writing more easily.




PS The idea of the shitty first draft comes from the book Bird by Bird by writer Anne Lamott.

PPS Due to the holidays, I won’t send you any tips for the next four weeks. See you the end of August!