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Here's why you should be proud of your trashy first draft





I’m just going to say it: first drafts suck. You ride that roller coaster of highs (“This is gold! I’m a wordy genius!”) and lows (“I’m literally the worst writer ever. What was I thinking?”). And at the end, you have a literary mishmash of both good and bad. And that’s okay. That’s exactly what your first draft is supposed to be.


Author John Dufresne said, “The purpose of the first draft is not to get it right, but to get it written.”

And Ernest Hemingway famously explained, “The first draft of anything is shit.”

It is so easy to be negative about ourselves, especially now when other things may not be going right in our lives. But don’t bash your first draft.

Instead, celebrate it. Buy a cake (and share a piece with me). No matter how it is written, be proud that it is done. Here's why:

  • When you type “the end” for the first time, you have already accomplished something most people will never do.

  • You traversed a landmine of emotions and poured out all of your creativity onto the page.

  • You spent hours, days, weeks, and months (and perhaps years) working toward your goal. And you did it.

You, my friend, are amazing.

You created something brand new in the universe, and no matter what you think about it, that’s special.

Maybe when you look back at your first draft, you want to swear like Mr. Hemingway, but it’s not all swear-worthy. Deep down, you know that.


Even if after reading your first draft again you think 90 percent of it should be tossed—you could go on to build from that 10 percent left and create the best writing of your life.

The important thing is not to quit.

You got this.

Let me know how I can help.



Here are a couple related posts you may enjoy:


Done is better than perfect.


How to get your writing mojo back


Don't forget about our free resources library, and if you're looking for an online writing community where there's no judgment, only encouragement and education, then join Dot and Dash's private writing group on Facebook.


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