Write the First Draft

Write That First Draft First … Then Get Published

by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta Russ

Anne Lamott wasn’t so subtle about what she thought of first drafts in her book, Bird by Bird. In fact, she started off by writing, “Now, practically even better news than that of short assignments is the idea of shitty first drafts. All good writers write them. This is how they end up with good second drafts and terrific third drafts.”

I agree with her. First drafts are the roughest, and well, ugliest drafts. It’s a common mistake of beginning writers, as well as seasoned ones, to expect themselves to produce shiny, perfect very polished and publishable first drafts. What these writers don’t know is that these ugly and every-editor’s-nightmare first drafts can provide them with the opportunity to explore every angle, every slant, and every idea for an article or a work.

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