The first draft is usually your worst draft. Just keep going.

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Oh, this is so true.

I remember sitting in my college Comp II course many years ago, learning about argumentative writing, when my professor mentioned something called “Shitty First Drafts” by Anne Lamott. The idea is that, to write a story, a paper, or whatever you may be working on, you can’t write it well if you don’t write something… So, you have to write a shitty draft to get to the good one. I definitely wrote a shitty first draft, so I’m right on track.

According to Lamott’s friend, “The first draft is the down draft — you just get it down. The second draft is the up draft — you fix it up. You try to say what you have to say more accurately. And the third draft is the dental draft, where you check every tooth, to see if it’s loose or cramped or decayed, or even, God help us, healthy.”

As of today, I’m currently 3/4 of the way through my second “up” draft, which, I hope, is much less shitty. The point is, don’t let your word vomit deter you from pushing forward. Just plug your nose and wade through it.

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2 thoughts on “The first draft is usually your worst draft. Just keep going.

  1. Lamott’s “Shitty First Draft” chapter was my favorite from “Bird by Bird.” It’s one of the only sections where I agree with her completely. Congrats on making it to your second draft. I’m sure it’s much better than the first!

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