The Shitty First Draft

Shitty First Draft. Write it at the top of the page.

This is by far the best advice I have acquired as a writer. It’s featured in a book called Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and though I dislike being gifted books like this I am indebted to this sentence. These words, though simple, are powerful and when I write them I am reminded that what follows can be free flowing or it can be a flash in the pan. It might be edited later or it might be deleted entirely but the point is to start. After all, you aren’t a writer if you’re not writing.

So here I am. At 27 I have finished my very first book, though I have written and stalled with many, and though the story is complete it is, in fact, just my shitty first draft. I’m ok with that because it’s finished.

“I finished something!”

I want to shout it at random people when they walk past and tell everyone who even loosely knows that I write because I am proud of my achievement. This does however prompt the scary follow up question:

“Can I read it?”

Well no you can’t. It’s my shitty first draft, haven’t you been listening?

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