First drafts suck. But they have to exist in order to be bad. Still, a terrible first draft is better than a non-existent one any day of the week.
Here are my tips for tackling them.
- Come up with a plan.
- Know your purpose.
- Prioritize your writing time.
- Write first.
- Edit later.
- Silence your inner editor.
- Make and meet deadlines.
- Set goals, especially small ones.
- Take enough breaks.
- Have incentives.
- Treat yourself to rewards.
- Rest, relax, recharge.
- Continue to live your life.
- Surround yourself with support.
Go forth and write that messy first draft. You can always make it better after you finish telling your initial story.
Maybe I should’ve titled this post “What Not To Do When You Lose Your Work”.
If you’re new around here, (though you probably aren’t) the Herminia Chow blogging style book states: every word is capitalized in a title because she’s too lazy to follow any other rule.
It also states: punctuation comes after the quotation mark when part of a sentence, again because she’s too lazy to observe any other rule.
Maybe one day I’ll publish a post with all my rules. So you can laugh at how incorrect and lazy I am. But at least I’m consistent in being incorrect and lazy.
I’ve digressed because I rather not think about how careless I was.
And surprise, how lazy I am.
I’m usually good with saving my work anywhere and everywhere. I don’t believe you can ever save a draft too many times or have the same draft in too many places.
But this time I had one draft saved in one place. The application froze and when I went back on it, I lost all the work I did for an assignment due this Thursday. Safe to say I had over half of it done. All those hours of work gone in a few seconds.
Life’s fun and funny like that.
So naturally I panicked. And in my state of panic, I told the whole world. My mom. My dad. My best friend. My professor. That’s pretty much my world.
Could I have spent all that time redoing my assignment? Of course. Did I? Of course not.
Let this be a lesson to always save your work many times and in multiple places.
Don’t be like me. Don’t be lazy. It comes back to haunt you.
They suck. But they don’t have to rot in a drawer or on a computer forever. They can get better. With time and work, they can become a sparkling story.
First drafts are first drafts for a reason.
Don’t stress about being perfect the first time around. Or even the tenth.
You don’t have to get it right on your first try. Unlike other things in life.
So write your first draft.
Put it aside.
Take your time.
Then come back to your initial draft.
Be ready to suffer.
Because you’re going to suffer.
Also, don’t put it aside and never come back either.
Your story deserves better.
You deserve better.
Because you can never have too many places to save your work.
Starting a blog has many perks. And having an additional place to store your work is one of them. Even if you don’t intend to publish it for the world to see, save that chapter of your novel by creating a draft.
If you have Tumblr, you can make drafts you never intend to publish either. Any blogging platform can double as a place to save your work online.
I’m currently going through a Google Drive phase. I use it for everything. You can upload files and folders or even create a document with Drive. 15 GB of storage? Yes, please.
Even though you don’t have nearly as much free storage to work with, don’t underestimate 2 gigabytes.
If I’m not mistaken, you get 15 GB of storage just like Google Drive.
I personally don’t use Box, but it’s another option for saving and sharing files.
I know some people swear by Evernote. I’m not one of those people. However, I’ve used it enough that I recommend giving it a shot.
I’m starting to use iCloud more and more. You can sync everything across all your Apple devices.
Find what works for you and your precious work. Nothing can buy back your lost stories.
Look at it this way:
More thinking = More drafting
More drafting = More writing
More writing = More rewriting
More rewriting = More editing
More editing = More formatting
More formatting = More publishing
Does anyone else have those days where you just aren’t happy with anything?
Those days make daily blogging more challenging. Days where I’m not pleased with any idea. Days where I want to scrap every draft. Days where I don’t want to publish a planned post because I simply cannot be satisfied.
I am too high maintenance for my own good.
Can I just smash my fingers on the keyboard already? I’m surprised I haven’t done that yet.
It’ll happen, one day. Just you wait.
Don’t assume I’m watching silly YouTube videos (even though I might be). What? Bloggers need breaks too.
- Brainstorm new ideas.
- Draft blog posts.
- Edit, edit, edit.
- Take pictures for their reader’s viewing pleasure.
- Edit said pictures.
- Respond to comments left by other wonderful bloggers.
- Browse through the Reader.
- Leave comments. Interact with people. Give back to the always lovely WordPress community.
So while it may seem like I’m always on my phone, I have valid reasons to be.
And no I do not have friends to text or a boyfriend to talk to.