Sh!tty First Drafts
I think that one of the hardest things for a writer to learn is that, while he or she is allowed to write shitty first drafts, not everything he or she writes is shitty. Allow me to explain. One of the reasons I find it so hard to allow myself to write a shitty first draft is because of this feeling in the back of my head that if it starts shitty then shitty it will always be. Or else, I feel that by writing shitty first drafts I am acknowledging that hidden fear of mine that I just write shit. Like, if my first draft is shit, what’s to say that the rest of what I write isn’t shit also?
Impending deadlines will do this to a boy. Setting lofty expectations (four chapters in three weeks) helps as well. And yet, as many times as I’ve suffered through these pangs, I continue to set myself lofty goals and I continue to hold true to deadlines, never asking for extra time.
What am I talking about? I guess what I’m trying to say is that, on Thursday, as I prepared to start writing again, I started to be overwhelmed by that familiar feeling of dread. “Is what I write crap?” I wondered to myself. “Is this story worth telling? Is it something anyone will ever want to read?”
All of this, I’m hypothesizing, has to do with this fear of shittiness in my writing. Now, if I could just allow myself to write a shitty first draft of the four chapters I’ve decided to try and write, I could probably get it done in no time. It wouldn’t be a problem. So, I guess what all this rambling is about is that I want to find ways to allow myself to write shittily.
But, if I’m looking for ways to write shittily, does that mean that I’m acknowledging that I don’t write shittily to begin with?