Tag Archives: first drafts

Do you have any advice for someone who hates everything they write shortly after putting it on paper?

fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment:

Okay get ready for some caps and profanity because I’m gonna try and serve up some inspiration here man. 

  1. Get in the state of mind you need to be in to write. Go for a walk, pour yourself some coffee, stay up until three if you don’t have work in the morning. I get more creative late at night, when I’m just tired enough that I stop worrying quite so much and get more creative. 
  2. Warm up. In my experience, warming up is important before exercise, before drawing, and before writing. The first few steps or strokes or lines will feel wobbly and awkward, because you haven’t hit your stride yet. Set yourself up for doing your serious work when you’re warmed up. It’s fine if the warm up isn’t gold- it isn’t meant to be. Describe the room you’re in, describe a color, write the shittiest thing that you can- just have a bit of fun and get those keys or that pen moving.
  3. Say it with me now, while you write: 
    FIRST DRAFTS SUCK 
    FIRST DRAFTS SUCK 
    FIRST DRAFTS SUCK
    You have my permission to fail. Give yourself permission to write something shitty, too- because otherwise you’ll stay locked in your comfort zone, which means you won’t learn new skills, and you’ll improve very, very slowly. What the fuck are you trying to do here, anyway? Write the great fucking American novel in your first go? Just chill out and write your goddamn thing, man, and have some fun with it, because it is scientific fact that you’re more creative when you’re just messing around and enjoying yourself than when you’re stressing out.
    STRESSING OUT IS FOR THE EDITING PROCESS.
    FIRST DRAFTS SUCK.
    YOURS WILL TOO.
    THAT IS OKAY.
    JUST WRITE THE DAMN THING. 
    FAILING IS LEARNING.
  4. Toss it into a drawer once you reach a good stopping point/your wordcount goal/whatever you’re doing with your life (you’re not allowed to stop because you think it sucks, though, that’s called quitting). DON’T LOOK AT IT. Leave it. Let it marinate for a while. When a few days, a week, maybe a month has passed, pull it out and look it over. Either it’s better than you thought (yay!) or(and) you’ve got some editing to do. BUT YOU HAVE A THING TO EDIT! 

Remember. You will write some shit. That doesn’t make you a shitty writer. I cannot tell you how many shitty drawings I’ve drawn- but I’ve got sketchbooks full of really really bad figure drawings from just this year alone. The trick is, rather than get in a funk about your bad pieces (guilty), you crumple them up and toss them outta the way like a badass. Because even when you feel like you’re just spinning wheels and turning out shit, I can pretty much guarantee that as long as you are working, you are learning and you are getting better. You won’t notice it at first- you won’t notice for a while, until you look back, and you think, ‘Hot damn, I’ve gotten way better than last year, last year’s work was shitty’. Thinking your old work is bad is good- that means you’ve gotten better. 

SO GO WRITE, FRIEND! DO NOT FADE GENTLE FROM THIS FIGHT. WRITE, WRITE, INTO THE DYING OF THE LIGHT. 

-Evvy