Here’s to Crappy First Drafts

Funny thing happened this past week. My buddy, D—, finished the first draft of his novella.

Now, what’s funny about this is that it’s been awhile since D— wrote something, well, anything really. So, I was happy to hear a while back that he was writing again. I’d like to think that I helped to fire him up, motivate him and get him writing again.

Back in the day (I won’t specify which one), D— and I used to hang out a lot, talk about writing…And then write stuff and share it with one another. Well, it’s been some time since then. And we both took a break from writing fiction for awhile.


Then, I started writing stuff again. Finished some stuff. Put it on Amazon Kindle. I wrote more stuff, started this blog and started sending stuff to magazines. All the while I kept  D—in the loop.

We talked about my projects, what I was doing and at some point D— started talking about writing again. And then he carved out some time and started producing words. And then he started hitting massive daily word counts—up to 5,000, which is more than I think I’ve ever done.

And now he’s got a first draft of a novella. Bam! And he’s started editing it. I’m really proud of him and it makes me really happy to know he’s writing again. And I like to think my writing motivated him to take up his pen again.

I do know that his continuing to write has fired me up. Last week, on my “designated writing day” I thought, “Man, I really gotta nail it today.” And I produced over 2,000 words which is a good, strong writing day for me. It makes me smile to know D—is out there, writing somewhere.

I know like all writers, he’s concerned that it’s a “shitty first draft.” But all first drafts are varying degrees of shit. Every great novel you’ve ever read started out as shitty first draft…And then became a better second draft, and a still better third, until they’re finally out there in the world…That masterpiece that reads, sounds and looks deceptively easy to craft.

So, there it is. The story of D— and me and writing. I hope, wherever you are in the writing process, this little story fires YOU up. Keeps you working on a project you’re having trouble with. Gets you to soldier on through your first draft or editing your fourth draft or even proofing the thing or sending out queries to editors. Just remember—everything ever written started out as a shitty first draft. So, keep that chin up and keep going!


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