Do You Have The First Draft Blues?

It’s a phenomenon that occurs more often than not with many writers out there.  Sometimes, it sprouts up during the first few pages, chapters, or even near the end of the material that they’ve been pouring their hearts into.  They want to go back and perfect what they have already written, rewrite that opening scene and reimagine their main characters before they have even finished the material.

This is what I call the First Draft Blues.

It isn’t fun, by any means, and it certainly makes your book/story take an eternity to complete.  Here are some simple guidelines to help pull you out of that funk, and like dropping a pebble in a pond, help you to develop the ability to keep moving, one word after another.

Don’t Agonize Over Getting It Right The First Time!

Every writer out there has to edit or revise their work, and nothing comes out perfectly the first time through.  A general rule of thumb is that when you’ve poured your heart out into that first draft and completed it, set it aside for a couple of weeks.  Come back after the allotted period of time and re-examine the material.  This will give you the opportunity to look at your creation with fresh eyes.

Have Fun With It

Writing is a very personal experience.  The first draft is no exception, but that doesn’t meant that you should think of it as a chore.  You will dread sitting down to it everyday , and that will reflect in your piece.  Instead, allow yourself free reign, let loose, and don’t give two thoughts about what anyone else will think of your little masterpiece during the first draft stages.  What’s the most important is that you write it out, get the idea out there and completed, and have fun doing so.

Be At Peace

Atmosphere is everything to some writers.  When you are at peace, you are open to creative energy.  Creative blocks are enough to make you anxious and in an all around bad mood, but loud and busy surroundings can take that single block and build a house with it.  Set your area up for success, perhaps with music.  Remember that writing is a solitary practice.  When you are beginning to feel at peace, or in the zone, you will begin to relax and the words will spill over the pages before you know it.

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One thought on “Do You Have The First Draft Blues?

  1. The biggest issue I have with first drafts is the battle between writing down everything, and remembering the story’s larger point. (I generally write creative non-fiction). Throughout the years, I’ve come to understand my first draft in three phases: 1) The Big Dump, where every possible story gets written down without any sense of continuity; 2) The Rearranging, where I figure out what stories survive the first edit; and 3) The Layering, where I write the contextual chapters and scenes that give the story its spine.

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