Noone No One Gets it Right the First Time –
If you have been paying attention to this blog in any way (and even if you haven’t because I’m about to tell you what you should have noticed anyway), you’ll have noticed that most of my posts are littered with typos and grammar mistakes. Even, in one massively embarrassing case, I attributed a quote about technology to Milton. MILTON.
Anyway, my point is, I screw up, often and spectacularly. And that is okay. Screwing up the first time around is okay, and frankly, necessary.
Why? Well, the first go around, you just write out the skeleton of your idea. You have dumped everything you have about your topic contained in your brain onto a page. You have, perhaps, shaped it into paragraph format, organized it a bit, and voila. You have the first draft of whatever you are writing about.
Now comes the fun part – revision. Most good writing is developed in revision ( I paraphrased this from a John Green video. He may have been quoting someone else. Who knows) and that’s why it’s so awesome. You get to play with your language. Whe else are you allowed to mess around with your words in an attempt to make it sound better? It’s super easy – you already have the framework laid out in front of you, so the hard work of conjuring content out of thin air is complete. Now, you just have to make is sound fun or intelligent or serious or what have you.
Don’t get carried away, though. Revision can quickly become a sickness, if you let it. It infects you, makes you think your writing must be perfect the first go. It doesn’t. Resist that urge, the urge that tells you to revise your first paragraph before moving on to the second. It’s evil and it will eat your soul.
Well, maybe it won’t eat your soul, but it will certainly eat your productivity. You will never finish with the goal of a perfect first draft. First off, those rarely, if ever, get produced. There are always things to change, to tweak, to tighten up for precision’s sake. That in mind, leave them be. Your first draft is allowed to suck. It’s called the first draft for a reason; it implies that there will be MULTIPLE drafts. There may only be two. There may be a thousand. You can always make more changes.
(Be warned though; at some point, it’s time to stop editing and just let the work go. It’s okay. There will probably be one or two more mistakes in it, but I promise you are the only one who notices.)
So go forth! Find the mistakes in this first-draft-blog. Find your own mistakes. Appreciate them. Love them. Fix them. Revise, my pretties, revise!!