Behold, Your First Draft!

Hemmingway once famously said, “The first draft of anything is s***.”

I often have heard other young writers also contemplate the trashiness of their first attempt at a story, perhaps even going into the writing process as one consciously knowing, or thinking anyhow, that they are writing garbage, and what they write will only have to be kneaded over in the editing process and demolished several brutal times over.

When I was a child, I would simply write stories. Some were near-exact copies of actual movies or TV episodes, only with different characters, some were made up, some were based on memory of games I played, and some were a mix of memory and make-believe. I can still go back to these stories, even the ones I wrote when much younger, and still find great enjoyment in them.  In fact, reading just one of my early-days writings encouraged me to see that I am capable of writing good stuff. However, would I any publish them as they are? Of course not! And that’s where the work part is supposed to come in.

I don’t understand it, but it seems to me as if writers have a particular disease, the idea of the natural-born, magnanimous artist, hanging over them which no other artist seems to really suffer from as a group. “Should I even start? What if I’m not good enough? I’m not good enough! My book will be unpublishable! Ahhh!” Just enjoy writing a story; then enjoy making it into a beautiful story, if the writer in you so calls. Just like a person, once made and born into the world, needs growing and remaking–even ripping apart–to make better.