Anne Lamott’s brilliant book on writing, Bird by Bird, reminded me last night about the importance of the shitty first draft. There is no such thing as getting it perfect–or even nearly perfect–the first time around, so give yourself permission to write stuff you’ll never show the outside world. I was a much more productive writer when I kept this in mind daily.
I don’t let anyone see my writing in first draft form. I barely let anyone else even touch my computer for fear that a first draft might be read by curious eyes.
I write a lot of unusable stuff, but this is the only way I know to get to the material that is worth reading. It’s also how I get to know my characters intimately.
Do you give yourself permission to write crap? If not, you should try it.