If I could only give a young writer one tip for combating writer’s block and becoming a better writer, it’s giving yourself permission to have a bad first draft. For perfectionists, this is a tall order. The first sentence, the first paragraph, the first page will never be good enough. You’ll keep writing and re-writing in circles.
When I first started writing, I wrote a paragraph and erased it. Wrote it again and erased it. Rinse. Repeat. Like I said, I didn’t get anywhere. I never finished my stories and had nothing to show for the time I put into them.
Then, in a very deliberate and concerted way, I gave myself permission to have a bad first draft. I said, “It’s okay all of this is really bad. It’s going to suck. That’s okay.”
I embraced the bad first draft. Since then, I haven’t looked back and I actually complete my work.
You can, too.
For some, this might not take much effort. It might be second nature to just throw down words and not give a second thought. For others, it might mean saying out loud, “This will suck and I’m fine with that.”
Whatever it takes, it’s the best way to move forward. Otherwise, you’ll be a hamster in a NaNoWriMo wheel.
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